It all happened so fast. I had spent a long day out in the sun, and felt a little different when I left to get a smoothie. And then, out of nowhere, the cashier looks at me and says the most important words anyone has ever told me:
“Looks like you got a little color!”
I instinctively looked at my shoulders and—I get chills thinking about it—she was totally right. I was sunburned and I had no idea.
Still to this day, I don’t know what I would have done if this innocent bystander hadn’t told me what was going on.
At this point, I already suspected that something was off; I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Sure, I had been swimming all day in the hot, blazing sun, and I know that even though sunscreen says it’s waterproof, you really do need to reapply, and I could feel and see that my skin was sunburned. But how could I truly know if someone didn’t tell me?
That was where this hero came in to tell me, “You should really use sunscreen!” I shudder to think of how my life would have panned out if he didn’t say that to me. After a long day frying my brain in the hot summer sun, what I clearly needed was an outside opinion on an objective fact. Thank goodness he was there to tell me something obvious and also useless!
It’s sort of crazy to think that everyday heroes truly are all around us. And they’re just walking around, having the backbone to announce to people the things that those people might not already know because they may not have eyes or a nervous system.
Here’s hoping that next time I get a little sun-splashed, some hero like her is nearby so I don’t overlook something that critical, like the fact that I’ve gained some weight or have a little something on my shirt. These heroes really do live among us.
I just hope my story touches someone else’s and that we can all muster up the guts in these dark times to be brave and comment unsolicited on someone else’s appearance.