Letter to the Editor: Holiday reflections
You know, I was just in a restaurant talking with a guy and realized that I need to be more thankful for where I am in life.
It wasn't too long ago about this time of year that I was lost both literally and spiritually, lying on a bench in Central Park in New York City thinking, "I really need to get back home and let everyone know I'm okay."
I've always had good family, good friends and haven't wanted for much of the necessities of life. When a person like me makes mistakes like I did, there was help and love available at no cost. The true friends and loving family were there to make sure that I knew they were there for me.
Speaking to this homeless guy has helped me realize that we all need help at sometime. None of us really ever do it all on our own. There's no such thing as a 'self made man.' I was fortunate to have great support to pick me up, dust me off and get me back on my feet. This guy I was speaking with seemed that he had no such help. He showed the signs of drug/alcohol abuse. Being a recovering alcoholic it wasn't really that hard to see the signs. Once we got to chatting and splitting the breakfast on the table, I realized just how thankful I needed to be for the events in my life that had led up to meeting this individual.
Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means a saint and still have a long way to go in many areas of my personal life. What I was able to realize and reflect upon through speaking with this individual I feel is very important, especially at this time of the year. Though we're all different, we're still human. Yeah, there are those that may seem heartless, cold or unfeeling/caring. So what? Is it up to me to stoop to their level anyway? Being thankful and showing it tells me "no." I can't let what others think, do or say be how I live my life. I need to be me; the good me. Yeah, a lot of people get themselves into problems, too, but we haven't walked in their shoes.
I agree that we need to be on our guard about the reality of the evils in the world. I used to think that this was a good way to just stay clear of problems. I'm finding that this type of thinking still owes itself action of helping out when we can. It doesn't have to be radical or great in anyway. This guy I spoke with seemed that he just needed a meal and was thankful for the company, even if only for a few minutes.
I've been told and believe the saying about giving a fish and teaching to fish but I can't hide behind it. Not being the type to invite anyone to my table, I'm glad I did this time. Whether we believe in fate, religion, karma or coincidence, whatever it is - there are times when we just need to look inside ourselves and assess where we are and what we can do better.
I'm thankful for many things. Today, I'm thankful for the guy that helped me realize how good I have it and how much more thankful I need to be.