Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Reason to Care


I was walking through the parking lot, when I saw a large guy with a sour expression painted on his face sitting in his car. As I passed, he hurled his drink, cup and all on the ground. He growled something I couldn’t really comprehend to his wife who came out of the liquor store.

I had to get off my high horse and bite my judgmental tongue to keep from saying something to him about littering; something just told me to walk on by.

There was just an aura about him that really discomforted me. You could tell he was miserable. He exuded despair. I don’t know anything about him, I have never seen him before.  But the story I created in my head about him really affected me.

I imagined the lethargic, obese guy is on welfare, unable to work, most likely has diabetes. Probably mad about the hand that was “dealt him”; probably doesn’t have many interests, probably doesn’t have a whole lot of enjoyment. With a life like that, why would you care?

I complain about my neighbor who has the gout. He is unemployed and spends his days shuffling back and forth to the liquor store, NEVER following crosswalk rules. Why should he? Why would he care if he got hit? Why would he care about the pain and trauma he would cause the person who hit him?

I had a pitying thought that people so hopeless probably don’t care much about social graces. Seeing that guy in the car strangely changed me. It made me so grateful for the things I have. It made me grateful that I do have a reason to care.

I felt so enlightened, so free, with my new revelation, I totally didn't realize I cut this elderly lady off in line.

c. 2012


  1. Funny you should post this, because this dude sounds identical to the son of the old lady who lives downstairs from us - he is about 65, has cancer, and is a bitter, miserable person. He fights with his family constantly and gambles his money away on horse races; he even griped about his live in girlfriend having to work two jobs - even though they nearly got evicted for owing over $8,000 in back rent!

    People like this definitely do make you count your blessings - and, as you said, grateful that you do have a reason to care.

  2. oooh that guy sounds miserable! people who make you want to count your blessings...from a safe distance!...b