The windows of my gym overlook the cramped little parking area of the Town Square.
As I trundle along on the treadmill I watch the people as they come out of the encircling shops and head for their cars.
People watching is a fav hobby and it sure helps take my mind off the gym-pain.
This was the scene for my lightbulb moment.
I noticed the guy who issues the parking permits from his little box at the entrance to the area -
Then I thought of his co-worker - a large woman who does the same job in the same friendly way. A warm affection filled me - they are both unfailingly pleasant and smiling.
The thought 'arrived'
How about buying small Christmas gifts for people like them this year?
People who are part of my daily round; people who work hard; have done their tedious jobs with a smile and a pleasant word?
People who make a difference to everyone's day just by their demeanor: often people who have very little in the way of material things.
Instead of (or in addition to) giving money to an organisation, or to a faceless child.
The other day, a miserable windy and wet day, I pulled up at a red robot, fretting a bit because I didn't need the delay.
Also because every robot has its quota of people selling stuff I don't need and don't want.
I also don't like being harrassed.
Nor do I like the guilty feeling that goes with saying 'No'
This man comes to my car window with his Big Issues: with his bare feet and raggy clothes.
In the wind.
In the cold.
In the rain
My heart sinks.
But he has a big smile on his face.
And when I say 'No thanks' the smile stays. And he doesn't press me.
The robot stays red.
So I commiserate with him about the weather.
He agrees that its cold, pulls his clothes tighter around him and says: "At least I have a rainjacket"
"At least I have a rainjacket" !
The robot changes
I move off - my throat suddenly tight and acheing
Almost blinded by sudden tears
For him - symapthy, yes - but much more
For the beauty I saw in this man.
For me - yes, for the lack of . . . what he showed.
And for the way of life
That people suffer.
But more than that -
For the wonder of fine character that can shine through in that.
Everyone is a teacher of life
They are there, if we look.
I want people like that to know this year that they matter; that who they are, matters.
Now I have to go shopping.
PS: Ness, (and others who joined the conversation on the previous post) I haven't finished with that subject. Thanks for your input. We'll come back to it, kay?