I’d like to take a second to comment on the hoodlum to works at Taco Bell, and also on the guy I saw this morning driving to work in a crappy car who looked a bit down on his luck. And while I’m at it, I’d also like to comment on the guy who washes windows in the Cub Foods parking lot for change and the guy who collects aluminum cans at the carts downtown.
I like all of those people.
Why? Because a lot of people in their situations would have, and HAVE, given up. They took the shitty hand life dealt them and didn’t do anything with it. They accepted defeat and, therefore, deal drugs, steal purses, or just live off unemployment and Link cards. I’m not into that at all.
I admit that I was dealt a great hand at life. I grew up in a nice neighborhood with good parents who were pretty comfortable financially speaking. The more of the world I see, the more I realize and appreciate that. They made it really easy for me to go to college and get a job, and were supportive when I wasn’t having much luck with the latter. But, at the same time, I like to think that if I’d had a shittier life, I would have succeeded anyway. I like to think that I have a strong enough character that stealing shit from people instead of earning a living wouldn’t be good enough for me.
In Chicago I dealt with a lot of people on the street asking me for money. I hated that. But I’d sometimes give a buck to the guy who offered to shine my shoes or the guy who was washing other people’s car windows. At least they were doing something other than begging or stealing. At least they were offering a service for my money.
Anyway, seeing people in those situations makes me feel pretty silly about bitching about my problems. Maybe that’s why my dad has such a good outlook. He deals with people all day long who aren’t having an easy time with their life, but when he gets home, he realizes he’s got it pretty good. I never used to understand how he could be so happy all the time after dealing with people all day who weren’t at all happy, but I think I’m starting to understand it. Complaining about road construction seems pretty shallow after seeing people who can’t afford adequate care for their children.
I’m going to try to complain less and look at things more positively.