Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Counting our blessings

Tuesday evening. Sunday, in the midst of running errands in the blazing heat, I saw a homeless man sprawled out, sound asleep, on the grass at my local shopping center. My first reaction, I'm not proud to admit, was to think, "Ewwwwwwww, how gross," because he was clearly unkempt and looked, well, homeless. Immediately after that thought, I slapped myself mentally and said, "that man is a human being, too. He's down on his luck and I'm sure he'd rather be anywhere except out on the streets. Shame on you for being so small minded!" Then, I said a very quick prayer for God's protection on him before I continued on my way.

For some reason, that incident has really stuck with me. Here I am, obsessed about my weight and the clothes that I want from Evans UK that I can't have, and this man has no home. As I lay in bed last night, I said another prayer that God take care of this man and the rest of the disenfranchised in our society, and felt incredibly blessed. We have so much to be thankful for, each and every one of us, and yet, at least for myself, show so little awareness of how lucky we are. There are families around the world that cannot lie in their homes at night without worrying that a missile will land on their roof or that someone will break into their house and hurt them or their family, and that is tragic.

I don't want to minimize anyone's pain because, no matter what anyone else's situation is, your own pain is totally valid. I guess what I'm proposing is that we need to be more grateful for the good things in our lives, because we, as a nation, are so very blessed. I know that not everyone believes in God, or believes in Him the way that I do, but I think we can all say "Thank You" to something or someone, and I believe we should. Perhaps, by focusing briefly outside ourselves, we can gain some perspective on our own travails and find new solutions or even learn to live with what we have.

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