Last week I was driving my kids to school and noticed a chunk of ice near the lane where I was driving, as I got closer I realized that it wasn't ice, it was a white bunny. It was covered with dirt and was unable to hop over the small wall of ice that the snowplow had left on the side of the road. So it was trapped between a wall of ice and four lanes of morning traffic. I was running late and kept going but thought that someone behind me would stop or maybe I could go back after dropping off the kids and put it over the snowbank. After I dropped the kids off at school, I checked my phone and saw a message about an event that the foundation was hosting later that day, that needed some attention. I quickly went to work, forgeting that I had planned to go back.
The next day as we were driving to school, I noticed a fuzzy body by the side of the road and realized that the bunny had been hit by a car. I got that sick feeling in my stomach (that I get when I realize I screwed up). I could have done something and I didn't because it would be a slight inconvenience.
There are real consequences when we decide not to act. Schools close, people die because they don't have health insurance, neighborhoods get stuck with a toxic waste dump, and little bunnies get hit by cars. We can't do everything, especially for those of us who have chosen to work in the nonprofit sector and can see so many places that need our help. But I wish that morning, I had taken the extra two minutes and made the difference for that bunny because you don't always get a second chance.