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Saturday, September 26, 2009

For years now when I'm having a hard time I tell myself, "There's always someone else in this world who's worse off than you are at that moment...". I know that it means that someone else is struggling worse, but somehow that makes it better. That sounds bad. But it's just like the "things could be worse" idea.

So today (you can read my earlier blog from today) I was really having a rough day emotionally and did some venting. I can't say that I feel 100% better - I'm still having doubts about my weight and feelings toward this pregnancy, but what happened to me this afternoon kind of put things in perspective for me.

I am a co-leader of one of the Biggest Loser Challenge teams and I write and post daily challenges for our members. They are optional, but usually when we complete them we find that we do benefit in some way and are glad that we did it. So today's challenge was this:
Saturday, September 26 - WEEKEND CHALLENGE - Some people seemed to like last weekend that we did something to change the world around us by saying something nice to someone who looked like they needed it. So, I'd like us to do something kind of similar. We are not only in the business of changing us for the better, but we should be interested in changing our own little corner of the world. So, if you see some garbage - pick it up, if a little old lady needs helps with her groceries - help her out, if there are runaway carts in the parking lot - chase them down and put them in the cart corral. Maybe if we ALL did our part (meaning each citizen of this earth) then this place would be a nicer place to live! Have fun, all my little tree-huggers! lol (and let us know what you did to better our world!)

So today I went out to satisfy a craving. Lately I've been craving spicy food and I like getting a Subway turkey sub with pepper-jack cheese and jalepenos (and piled high with other veggies) and their Southwest Chipotle dressing. It's really spicy, but decent in calories and such with all the veggies and on wheat bread. So me and the kids went to Subway. About halfway through our meal we saw this man come in. VERY scraggly, greasy and dirty. His clothes looked as though they've been worn for weeks or even months straight and the shorts looked as though he's been sitting on the ground or in dirty places alot. This man was in his late 60's and right away I thought he looked like he must be homeless otherwise his clothes would at least look a little better than that. He walked up to the counter and asked for soda and soup and put a few singles on the counter. The owner (the owner and his wife run this location mostly by themselves) gave him one dollar back and the man said, "Is this a discount?" The owner said, "I'm giving you a discount so the next time you come in you'll take a shower first or don't come in." The man took his empty cup and his soup and set the soup down at a table. He started walking toward the drink machine with the cup but then put the empty cup in the garbage and then got his soup and threw that in the garbage and walked out. When the owner saw the man leave he looked at me with a look that said, "What happened?" and I told him, "He threw away his cup and soup." The owner said, "Well, good. Every time he comes in I have customers complain about how badly he smells." My kids and I felt bad for him - thinking that he didn't feel like eating anymore because he had hurt feelings. I'm not saying that the owners don't have a right to protect their customers, but I think he could have spoken to the man more discretely - everyone in the restaurant heard him.

The kids and I decided that when we were done we'd go and find him and if he wanted a sub we'd go back and buy one for him. Well, we drove around the city and neighboring city for about 30 minutes in the direction my daughter saw him walking. I was praying, "God, if you want me to talk to this man then I need you to be the one to find him." Finally after driving for about 25-30 minutes I decided to go back past the part where we first started - and I happened to look in the window of an Arby's - just one block down from the Subway - and I saw him. I went in and talked to him - it was obvious he had eaten something already with a tray of a couple of wrappers in front of him and food dribbled all down his giant overgrown beard. I talked to him for a few minutes. He insisted that he didn't leave because of hurt feelings but because he didn't feel like having soup anymore. I know that was a lie that he used to cover his embarrassment - but he thanked me for caring and for checking up on him. I still wish I could have done more - but at that moment I didn't see anything else I could have provided and I hope that just knowing that there are some caring strangers out there might lift his spirits in what seems to be a very rough patch in his life. And I hope that my kids learned that we need to care for everyone - not just those who smell good and dress nice...

So the reason for this story? Yeah, I can feel badly for myself because my stomach is getting fatter cuz of the baby and my clothes don't fit right and I feel frumpy and un-sexy. And I'm tired all the time and I'm emotionally unstable. But I have a bed to sleep in when I am tired. And I have the money to buy new clothes when my current ones don't fit my baby-belly. And I can stop in at Subway and buy lunch for me and the kids on whim. And people tell me I'm cute and compliment my make-up or my hair color or my sunglasses. But no one tells me I smell and I've never been insulted to the point where I had to leave a restaurant. And I don't wear the same clothes two days in a row. And no one has ever looked at me and felt badly for me because I look homeless... And I have alot to be thankful for and there is ALWAYS someone out there having a worse day than I am...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a great lesson for your kids. You are a wonderful mother for doing that. Also, you might want to consider writing a letter to corporate about the store owner. They should know how their franchise is being represented.
    4322 days ago
    Excellent blog. Thank you.
    4323 days ago
    That is a great lesson to teach your kids. Glad you made someone's day a bit brighter.

    4323 days ago
    There is ALWAYS someone worse off than ourselves; that's something my mom used to say ALL the time! LOL! But, I have personally been DOWN & OUT. I remember hitchhiking with twenty five cents in my pocket in the freezing cold. That was a few years ago now...
    Things are much better now. And just last week, an obviously homeless man asked my hubbie and I for $5 and a cigarette. My hubbie handed him his entire pack of cigarettes and a $20. Hubbie's dad always told him that you should always treat everyone like they are the most important person at that moment.
    Love thy neighbor!!!

    4324 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Good for you!! I think that manager at Subway was so out of line. You are a very good example for your children.
    4324 days ago
    I am so glad you took the time to do that Sarah! You really are a great person and the words that came to mind was "A Jesus Moment". I don't know why, but I just felt like you had a Jesus Moment when you took the time to look for the man and then go in the restaurant, and sit and talk with him.

    Jesus looks for us all and loves us ALL clean, dirty, smelly, angry, hurt, confused, doubtful, etc... Thanks for letting Him lead you!

    4324 days ago
    You are a wonderful person!!!
    4324 days ago
    The ability to step out of ourselves and care about a stranger is one of the greatest gifts that we have for our communities and our world. You showed true spark spirit.
    God Bless you.
    4324 days ago
    Nice blog. I think perspective was the nicest gift God could give you today. You accepted the gift graciously!
    4324 days ago
  • AMYLT82
    I think you have the right idea about how things should be done. I wish more people would think like you. If they can't stand the smell then maybe they are the ones that should be leaving the Subway. People are just good at complaining. It amazes me how half the year people complain because it is too hot and then half the year people complain because it is too cold. I just want to ask you to do one thing. Please be careful. I am glad you talked to him in a public place. I do believe God takes care of you, and me. This is a crazy world though. I would hate for you to have been hurt by this person you were making an honest effort to help. Your kids were learning from your example, it wasn't bad, they just couldn't stop him if he tried to hurt them. This people needs more nice people like you. You are going to make some more great people and your kids will be a great addition. I appreciate you and your kids. Thank you for making this world a better place. Your Friend, Amy emoticon
    4324 days ago
  • SAL1512
    I will never forget hiking with my friend Amelia. We were sitting with our legs dangling over a cliff. The valley below was thousands of feet away. She looked out over that beautiful postcard picture perfect view of the mountains and between bites of her sandwich she said, "I wonder what the poor people are doing?" And she was right. We were among the richest people in the planet at that moment. A good attitude can make the biggest difference in our lives and those around us!

    4324 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/26/2009 7:07:32 PM
    When you Can't see God's Hand at work in your life trust his heart.....
    4324 days ago
    God Bless you!!! Yes how true that is......... we are totally blessed each day we wake up..........
    4324 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4519295
    There but for the grace of God go I. We tend to forget about our blessings and concentrate on what we don't have or what we want. I hope your children also learned a lesson today as you tried to help someone in need. Lord, please change the Sub place man's heart.
    4324 days ago
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