Yesterday I took some household goods to a place downtown where people recovering from a hard life hang out. As I was unloading my trunk, a guy with long scraggly hair and missing teeth came over to help me. “How are you?” I asked. “I’m blessed,” he replied. (He lived incredibly close to the edge but was clean and sober and had a roof over his head.) We chatted a while, then I got into my car and drove to my home. And I smiled. It was so nice talking with a blessed person.
But what am I saying? I’m surrounded by blessed people. It’s just that we complain a lot. If it’s not the price at the pump, it’s the weather.
I’ve spent a lot of time with the disenfranchised, the homeless, the low/no income, as well as the disabled. I’ve noticed that they can be divided into two groups—those who have not turned a corner…and those who have. The former are bitter. The latter are remarkable, way ahead of a lot of others with whole bodies, safety, and hefty investment accounts.
Too many of us take our massive good fortune for granted. We exchange our “I’m blessed” statements for finding fault. We major on the minor. We get petty. I bet the people of Ukraine would gladly exchange their war with Russia for our culture wars.
Maybe it’s time for the able-bodied, home-dwelling, atrocity-free amongst us to turn a corner. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge our blessings…and pay them forward. We can kick absurdity out and get back to who we aspire to be—people of integrity, truth and compassion.
You know, people who want to turn the corner to catch up with the guy with long scraggly hair and missing teeth.