When we develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to us, we learn that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than our current situation. When we try to be grateful for all of our problems, after each one has been overcome, we become stronger and more able to meet those that are still to come. And we grow in all our difficulties.

Here's a reflection of a single mother of four kids whose life has been touched by a simple act kindness of a homeless person.

This is a story that happened 15 years ago but it has always stayed with me since then.

On the way back from work every evening, more often than not there would be a homeless man standing at the exit of the freeway. He looked to be in his late 40's but was probably a lot younger. He had shoulder length hair, a thick beard, and he was of average stature.


Each day, accept everything that comes to you as a gift. At night, mentally give it all back. In this way, you become free.-Daniel Levin

His eyes were what struck me the most about him, they were brown and they had a sparkle. Like an inside light that was beaming out of his eyes. His eyes, I thought, represented the man in general. People say they can tell a lot from a person’s eyes. It was certainly true in his case. He always waved at every car, he was always happy and smiling and sometimes almost dancing.

Every day after work I would remember to gather any spare change, and put it aside to give to him if I saw him. A feeling of joy would come over me every time I saw him, as I came off the ramp. He had that effect.

I’d quickly roll down my window and give him the coins. Occasionally the red light would be on for a minute and we would ask each other about our day. His answer would always be the same, “I’m blessed!”.

I knew what his answer was going to be every time, yet I would still ask. It amazed me that even in his situation of being homeless he was so positive, and his answer would remind me of how blessed I was. A single mother of four amazing kids, with a place to call home and with a job to provide for my kids.


Never dwell on what you have lost, only on what you have left. Count your blessings. You'll always find plenty.

Then one day I was called into my boss’s office and was told that I was being laid off due to the economy. A feeling of worry engulfed me, and for the rest of that day all I could think of was “how am I going to provide for my kids, how am I going to pay rent, what am I going to do?”

Needless to say that on my way home that day I was very sad and upset. I didn’t remember to look for my spare change and keep it ready like I usually did. I wasn’t feeling the joy as I got off the ramp where the homeless man would be. Yet there he was as always, as I turned the ramp. He set his eyes on me, while still smiling and waving at others.

I’d hoped to catch the green light, but I missed it. While I was waiting for the red light to turn, he strolled over to my car. He had a big smile he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “today I will give you a dollar”. He then reached into his pocket and pulled out a dollar bill. I was blown away. I burst into tears. I wanted to jump out of my car and hug him!

You see that day he gave me more than a dollar bill, he taught me a valuable lesson that no matter what material things are taken from you, no one can take away your choice to be joyful. My ride home was smooth sailing, I had lost my job, had no savings, but I knew I was blessed!

Every time I’m faced with challenges, I think of the homeless man’s valuable lesson and remember that I am blessed.

It is always possible to be thankful for what is given rather than to complain about what is not given. One or the other becomes a habit of life. Yes, when we reflect upon our present blessings, of which every man has many, not on our past misfortunes, of which all men have some, life would be meaningful and enjoyable.

By Tim Pedrosa

 

 

Abundance is to see that there are endless possibilities before us. And at the same time, still see an incredibly rich existence right where we are. It is a feeling of gratitude for everything and everyone we have in our life.–Unknown

 

Tim