Today's post is going to be a little bit different than usual. That's because I'm feeling incredibly fortunate, and I want to remind you just how lucky we are.
Just yesterday, I was partaking in my typical commute to work, which is 50 miles a day. I was complaining on the inside about this commute and the fact that I didn't have time for a "proper" breakfast.
I had these very thoughts. In my Prius. On my way to my job. Where I get to do what I've always dreamed of doing. Where I work with wonderful people with big hearts. Where I can depend on a steady paycheck every other week. Which is directly deposited into my account. That I can check on my smart phone or my personal computer. Which is a MacBook Pro. Which is located in my house. Which is heated right now. Which is where I lay in my comfortable bed with my kitty. Who eats top of the line expensive cat food. While Netflix plays on a flat screen TV.
Now I'm not rattling these facts off to brag and I'm not telling you this story to hear your political views or in hopes that you think I'm a good person. I'm telling you this, because this one incident on my way to work really opened up my eyes.
But lets get back to this 50 mile commute: I had just pulled off the highway exit. As I was waiting for the light to turn green, I looked over to see a homeless man, holding a sign that said "Food Anything Helps Please." Now here is where I'm not asking for people's personal opinions (sorry), but I am always willing to give a homeless person food if A) I have it available at the moment B) they don't have a ton of fresh-looking tattoos [I know this sounds weird, but I figure if you can afford new ink, then you could afford a meal] C) they aren't smoking [Again - if you can afford cigs, you can most certainly afford food]. This gentleman was doing neither of those things and I had my lunchbox, full of food, sitting in the seat next to me. I rolled down my window and handed the man a protein bar. He immediately thanked me and then, sounding extremely nervous, pointed out another homeless woman across the way, who was wrapped in a blanket, swaying in the intersection. He said he was really worried about her because she kept walking into the busy street and didn't seem to be 100% "with it." It warmed my heart that this man, freezing and without a home or even food, was not bitter or ungrateful; however, he was extremely thoughtful and full of gratitude for what he did have. Then he thanked me again and walked back to where he was before. On the way back, he tore open that protein bar with such ferocity that my heart broke. This man was so hungry that he couldn't even wait to sit down to begin eating it. The whole way to work, I fought back tears.
I was angry at myself. Angry that I had the audacity to forget just how blessed I am every single day of my life. I'm not saying that life doesn't get difficult for us all, because I know it does and it can be overwhelming at times. I am asking, though, that we all look at our lives with a different perspective. Remember that you are able to read this right now. And that means you have some sort of education. It means you have a computer or an expensive phone. It means you have the opportunity to do a lot of things many people can't.
Speaking of gratitude, I hope you will read (and act) on this article. It's about a 14 year old boy who can't move or speak, but what he most looks forward to each day is receiving the mail.