It’s All In Your Perspective

I’ve had a hard day today.  I’ve been running up against deadlines, trying to get my speaking engagements set for my trip to Florida, so I’ve been flat out.  I worked 12 hours yesterday and I was planning on doing much the same today.  Sadly, the house didn’t agree.

This morning the hot water heater gave out.  It’s only 3 years old, but it was tired, so it took the big dirt nap.  So, rather than doing all of the important things that HAD to get done today, I spent the morning on the phone with warranty people, the plumber and the handyman (who was here doing other work) trying to get it sorted out and coordinated.  Then I had to run out to collect my scarf from my friends’ house where I had left it because today it took me 20 minutes to get there, but next week it would take almost an hour and a half (the wonders of the public transport system and not having a car).

It was an exhausting day and I was feeling kind of sorry for myself and over-stressed, so I decided to go in for some comfort food and I went to a Chinese restaurant.  I remembered that I had a red envelope with some cash that had been gifted to me as part of a Chinese new year celebration by my sweetie’s boss, so I used that money to buy my lunch.

While I was sitting there, a man came in saying that his social worker had just given him a credit card with some cash on it and he wanted to buy some dumplings.  But the man behind the counter required a minimum purchase of $12 for him to use a credit card.  He didn’t have the $3.50 for the dumplings and he couldn’t afford to buy more.  He only had the card.  I walked up to the counter and gave the restaurant owner a five dollar bill and said “it’s on me”.  The man got his dumplings and all was right with the world.

When the man left, the owner came over and asked me why I paid for the man’s food.  I said, “I was feeling kind of down about my life and all of the work that I have left to do tonight and the challenges that have come up this morning.  Then that man came in and he didn’t have $5 for food.  I suddenly realized that I DID have $5 for food.  And not only that, I had another $5 that I wouldn’t really miss if I paid for his food too.  So by not having money for food, that man has made my day better by providing me with some needed perspective.  That was well worth the five dollars.”

So here’s my challenge for you today.  What are you looking at in your life that’s bringing you down?  Now consider not having five dollars to buy food.  Feel any better?  I know I do.

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