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Monday, October 3,2011


By Al Secunda  

John Sales was a traveling salesman. On one of his longer trips his car broke down just outside of small town named Dentville. John was relieved to learn that the town happened to have an excellent mechanic. However, he wasn’t happy when he was told that his car wouldn’t be ready until the next day.


After canceling his appointments and checking into a motel, John began to walk around town.

John was fascinated by what he discovered. Everyone in the town: had a content and authentic demeanor, and most people seemed to be enjoying life and at peace with themselves. To sum it up, everyone looked like they were living with an enormous amount of freedom.

While John knew that interacting with these people was different, he had no idea of the reason.

Then, on the following day, John made a discovery. Every car he saw had a dent in it. Each dent was in a different place and each was a different size. In fact, there were no two dents alike, nor was there a perfect car to be found.

John made a mental note of this and reminded himself to be extra alert when driving out of town.

At the appropriate hour, John picked up his car with a patched radiator. Just as he was about to leave, the mechanic asked him a very strange question. For good luck, would he be interested in receiving – free of charge – the Dentville Dent?

“The what,” said John. “The Denville Dent,” said the mechanic. “Did you happen to notice that every car here has a dent in it?

“Yes,” said John. “Well, it’s no accident that each has a dent,” said Willy, the mechanic. The byelaws state that if you become a permanent resident here, your car must be welcomed by a Dentville Hammer.

“Why in the world would you require people to purposely create an imperfection on their vehicle?” asked John.

“It’s symbolic.” Answered Willy.

It is to remind everyone that no one is perfect. In fact, we all have our blemishes and wounds and walking around trying to be in denial about our past experiences or trying to cover-up our imperfections is impossible and a huge waste of time.

Once we can make peace with the reality that we all have dents in our lives – it becomes easier to embrace and relate to ourselves and others in a more loving manner. This, in turn, will help us to experience a lot more joy, fulfillment, and love in our lives.

“So that’s why the people here are so different,” John said.

“Yup,” said Willy. Before you leave, are you sure I couldn’t interest you in just one dent for the road?

“Thanks, but no thanks,” said John. Hopefully, I got the valuable point without the Dentville Insignia.

When John arrived back at his upscale neighborhood and after exiting the car he smiled and giggled after looking at the long deep scratch on his fender -- that always made him mad.


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