Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What Do I Have To Complain About?

I was on the train the other day and I wasn’t in the greatest of moods. I had a lot on my mind. At the next stop, a homeless man stepped on the train and took a seat directly across from me. At first, I didn’t make note of him. I just kept thinking about my personal life, responsibilities and lacks, and plans for the near future. As I was mulling around and lost in my mind, I lifted my head up and took a long look at the homeless man in front of me. His shoes were tattered and his clothing crumpled. He had wild hair and the skin on his hands was cracked and peeling. He was a small, broken, man

“What do I have to complain about?” I thought to myself. “Look at THIS guy.”

I tried to imagine what his life was like and put my problems up against his. He probably doesn’t have a home for shelter and to grow in. He probably doesn’t have much family to consult and find love in. I assumed he didn’t have a job or very many friends, or a lot of excitement in his life. He may even be battling an illness or a drug addiction.

“What do I have to complain about?”

There I was, sitting on a subway, on the way to work. I had just come from my brother’s apartment and had a meal and a shower before I left. My problems were not the lack of basic necessities such as food, shelter, money, or family and friends, like they were for the homeless man. Mine were frustrations of everyday privileges and gifts not playing out how I had liked them to. The fear of TOO MUCH responsibility, tremendous lacks and needs not fulfilled, and confusion and lack of clarity regarding the abundance that I have in my life.

“What do I have to complain about?”

And then something really strange happened. My stop was next so I gathered all my belongings together and stood up. I had forgotten that my ipod was on my lap (I do this ALL the time!) and it fell along with the earphones, onto the floor.

While my ipod was mid-air, right before it hit the ground, a man came into my train through a door that connects the cars. Just as the doors were slamming shut, my ipod’s headphones landed directly in between the closing doors, and severed them in half!

The whole ordeal took less than 4 seconds. While it was an unavoidable bummer that my headphones broke, but it was a pretty spectacular chain of events.

Then I remembered the homeless man. My ipod’s headphones were replaceable and they were an accessory to a gift (worth hundreds of dollars) that I received from a family member…

“What do I have to complain about?”

It’s important to take inventory and always be grateful for the abundance we have in our lives. Don’t take the basic and easily overlooked necessities in life for granted. View yourself from afar and truly acknowledge the beauty you have in your life.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

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