Day 17 – A Thanksgiving story

I loved this story because it sparked a new thought inside of me. 

We all face challenging days and tough times.  And it’s on those days and in those times that we ourselves may benefit most from the kindness we offer others.  It is impossible to intentionally brighten someone else’s day without also brightening our own.

With love and gratitude,

Natalie. xo

A Thanksgiving story

There are a lot of things in my life that I should be thankful for but some things in my professional and personal life have made it difficult for me to “count it all joy” when facing them. Finances are tighter than tight, relationships need mending, creative ways need to be dreamed up to keep income flowing. I’m no different than most all of you I guess, except that I spend most of my time in solitude and have been dwelling on these things.

I went to Starbucks last night, it was rainy and I had a chill, I was annoyed because the bottom of my jeans had gotten soaking wet where they met the heels of my shoes. I got my cup of coffee and an Island Oat Bar. They taste great and are only 95 cents. I complained to the girl that the bars seemed “flatter” than usual, took a sip of coffee and complained that it tasted old or just very strong. She offered me a new cup and a different bar but there was no pleasing me. I sat down and started to relax and do some work on my laptop.

This guy comes in with filthy clothes, a guitar, unshaved, soaked to the bone, and matted hair. I chuckled to myself “better him than me” and further observed that all that time in the rain sure didn’t clean him up very well. I really am not usually like that, but I have felt both oppressed and depressed by many things over the last several months.

He sits down and gets a cup of water. He looks so far beyond exhausted.

I couldn’t believe it – this guy actually goes to the counter and asks the girl if they are throwing away any muffins that she might be able to spare, and she gives him two.

Are you kidding me? I just PAID for my coffee and flat oat bar! I spent $3.02 on that stuff. I got back to my work and looked up to see this guy looking at me. I look up again and he is still looking in my direction. With typical big city attitude, I say “What’s your problem?!”. I startled him. He said he was really sorry he was just staring off into space – he hadn’t slept in 2 days and it was difficult for him to stay focused on what he had to do.

“What do you have to do?” I asked. I was hoping that it wasn’t something like “rid the world of Starbucks patrons”. He explained that he hadn’t seen his family for more than two years and is trying to make it home to surprise them for thanksgiving…

What had I done? I judged this guy who had been traveling by foot and by hitch hiking for close to 2 weeks not by the content of his heart or the strength of his character, but because of how he looked. “Better him than me” is what I said earlier and I was right – he is better than me.

I went to the Greyhound Bus Terminal and bought this guy a ticket. It won’t get him all the way home, but it will get him a couple of hours closer and he can rest and at least stay dry and warm for a day.

I am broke and feel better than ever.

Let us remember those less fortunate than ourselves this season.

Happy Thanksgiving,

One Response to Day 17 – A Thanksgiving story
  1. Love it
    October 12, 2010 | 12:20 pm

    Awesome story, thank you for sharing it!

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