It was this past Friday, July 4th 2008 when I stopped with my shopping buggy in the middle of the aisle at a local super store. Stopping in the middle of an aisle isn’t normal behavior for me as I strive to be considerate of others – but I couldn’t help it. Ten minutes prior to this I was pushing and pulling my buggy past the refrigerated beef, chicken, turkey, lamb and pork. The pushing and pulling went on for several minutes as I struggled with what to buy and grill over the Independence Day long weekend.
While talking to myself, quietly, so as not to draw attention, I discovered that I was also listening to myself and a moment later was replying to the voice in my head. “How fortunate we are to be able to complain about what to buy” was quickly followed by “Some people don’t have such a selection of fresh meat – or refrigerated fresh meat – or enough money to buy what the want”. This went on for what seemed like minutes while I was blocking the aisle with my buggy loaded with fresh fruit, vegetables, cleaning supplies and toilet paper.
Moments later I snapped back and noticed the stares and glares of people maneuvering their buggies around mine. I moved my buggy to side and leaned back against a cooler full of frozen hams and pondered the 24 pack of two-ply toilet paper. Have you ever been without toilet paper when you really need it? Can you image what it is like to go without it for a few days? How about a few months?
How do you reply when someone at work asks “How’s it going” or “How are you”? Do you reply with the all too common complaint about your boss, job, weather or spouse? I used to until one day when I replied “Just peachy; I have a job, a roof over my head, a wife that loves me and dogs that don’t bite”. It’s quite true.
I believe we are most fortunate to have so many opportunities, luxuries and niceties. I also believe we are too forgetful and that we forget, all too often, how fortunate we are. I believe we should remind ourselves of our simple fortunes, toilet paper being one of them, and be appreciative of them.
These things I believe.
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