Ali had been a window washer for over 15 years. He mostly worked residential with some smaller commercial clients but he had always had an urge to try out one of the big sky scrapers. It wasn’t exactly a dream, but if the opportunity ever presented itself, Ali fully intended to jump at the chance.
Ali like to think that was the kind of person he was: the kind that always took advantage of what life through at him. Many of his friends had spent the last decade or so turning down opportunities; “not now,” “too dangerous,” I have kids to think of now”… Ali had kids; 4 of them. And Ali had a wife and a mortgage and bills to pay; Ali had family obligations and obligations to his church and a host of other reasons why he should live a placid and ‘ordinary’ life.
But Ali didn’t want to. He never had. God had put him on this earth to serve his greater glory and no glory was served by being like everyone else, by doing only what was expected and no more. He like to think that by embracing each and every opportunity that the world was somehow a better place, a happier place. Certainly his family had never suffered for it. They had experienced new and wondrous things and never felt the lack of anything vital to good health or a proper upbringing.
His youngest son had once fallen and broken his leg while climbing a rocky outjutting at the big park downtown. His neighbours had moaned and sympathized and urged him to keep a closer eye on the boy. But Ali, as soon as the boy was out of his cast, had taken him and his older brother to the University where they had this magnificently high wall designed for climbing and enrolled them in lessons. For if young Karem was to climb high things, it was only right and just that he learned the proper way.
Just last year, Ali’s eldest daughter had been invited to visit a schoolmate’s summer cottage. When she proudly announced this invitation at the family feast, Ali’s brothers and uncles loudly denounced the invitation and the women shook their heads in sympathy and sorrow for the young girl. But when Ali later told her she was to accept the invitation, the joy on her face was more than enough reason to believe that good things would come from this opportunity to learn and grow.
Today Ali was packing up his van after cleaning the window paintings off Garrepy’s Dry Cleaners, when he happened to glance up and see a women leaning out of a 3rd story window with a rag in her hand, trying to wipe down the glass. “Ah,” he thought to himself, ” Here is an opportunity I must not ignore. This poor woman is clearly not equipped for her task and I, with my truck full of equipment, clearly am.”