Monday, December 15, 2008

So Much Goodness in the Icy Wind

I have much to be grateful for this week. There is music in the house. Suna and I are both healthy. The kids are supportive, and we have a nice house.

That last bit is important. While running an errand the other day, I saw a homeless man panhandling on a busy corner. When I left the business, I saw the cops arresting him and several of his compatriots ambling away from the scene and trying to look like they didn’t know him.

I thought of that man and his friends this morning when I stepped out to go to work—something else for which to be grateful in this economy. I was supposed to wake up to temperatures in the 50s. Instead, I stepped out into a near-freezing wind. I wondered if that homeless man was warm, if he thought it was better to be in a warm jail cell than looking for food and shelter on a windy street. I won’t get started on the criminalization of poverty. I promise. Still my heart went out to that man I had never met.

So let me talk about an internal locus of control. We can choose our attitude. All we have to do to feel grateful and empowered is to look at those who have less than we do, not those who have more. I have seen people with very little smile and laugh while others worry themselves sick over trying to get another TV.

Then if we actually do something to help our fellow humans, how much better would we feel?

So, most of all, I am grateful for these lessons in humanity and humility.

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