Thursday, October 9, 2008

on not taking things for granted

i think the majority of americans go through our days in a rush to get to work, get home from work, eat, sleep, watch tv, spend time with families, and everything in between. it is so easy to take things for granted in our society nowadays and even though americans are going through some really tough times, i think we're all coming to the realization that we've had it pretty good all along.
ever since i was a little girl i've always had a soft spot for the homeless. i would see a guy on the side of the street that would say "will work for food" and i would beg my dad to bring him home to mow our lawn. in college i would cut class to go make food parcels at the shelter for the homeless or spend nights serving a hot meal. after living in england for six years in the rural area, i really didn't see too many homeless at all. come to think of it, the only type of individuals i encountered were gypsies. but they had their caravans and were in colonies so they weren't really homeless. after moving to tucson in june 2007 it blindsided me how many homeless people we have here. it is just disheartening to say the least.

i encounter them everywhere. if i'm walking in/out of a store they want money, if you're at a stoplight they're there looking for money..i mean they are EVERYWHERE. what does one do? i never give money. ever. so boyfriend and i have a system that if they need something, we get it for them because even if we're struggling sometimes, they always have it worse than us. i remember one time we were down to our last $10 and bf ended up spending like $9.50 on food for one guy. we lived another day and this guy finally had a meal. the most heartbreaking? a shoeless woman at the gas station approached bf and asked him if i had a tampon that she could have. i never thought about not having something as simple as a tampon..unfortunately i did not, nor did i have shoes on or any money on me to go buy her a box. i don't usually tell these stories because i was always taught that if you do something good, you don't brag about it. but i'm just bringing up the point that when i see someone like this and i'm complaining about this or that..these people generally have nothing but the clothes on their back and maybe a duffel bag of belongings.

we need to slow down, appreciate the little things in life such as a simple smile or beautiful weather, appreciate the big things in life like the ability to pay for food, the roofs over our heads, the food in our stomachs. we need to take the focus off of materialism and look to the future with optimism and gratefulness.

i know this post is different than my typical ones but i'm just tired of people complaining about what they don't have instead of focusing on what they do have. hopefully this is what this recession/economy slump will all teach us.

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