Posts tagged life lesson
Posts tagged life lesson
I wasn’t having a good day. I returned home today after spending two weeks house sitting near Denver’s Washington Park. “Wash Park” is a hip, swanky, park of town. During the two weeks I spend living by it I never went to the park itself or took advantage of the many amenities near it. Instead, I spent a tremendous amount of time inside watching TV - primarily the European championships. When I did venture outside to walk the dog I always cut our walk a block short of the park before turning back to the house.
When I arrived home I was upset with myself for not taking advantage of a favorable and desirable situation presented to me through house sitting. I was also upset that I failed to begin a research project for my ongoing job search. I wanted to find 15-20 schools based on several criteria (enrollment, location, number of sports, conference alignment) that would be desirable places to pry my trade and pursue a career in an athletic department.
As soon as I returned home, my family began bombarding me with questions since they have not seen or dealt with me for a while. While they are doing nothing wrong, I was not in the right frame of mind to enlighten them with the details of the past two weeks. That story was more tragedy than comedy. I did not want to return home but I also did not want to house sit. I found myself in that awkward middle state, where I felt out of place regardless of where I ended up. I was feeling sorry for myself, bitter, and doing what I could to protect/prevent myself from being overly excited/optimistic about the prospect of starting my career at Whitworth.
On top of all that, I had to deliver pizzas. A straight-forward, mindless job that is equal parts salvation and humiliation.
My third delivery of the evening was the largest one I had ever done. Garlic bread, two gluten-free pizzas, one small pizza, one large pizza, and a six-pack of Coke.
When I looked at the ticket, and saw I would require the largest bag we had, I was optimistic about the tip I would likely receive. I figured I was delivering to a birthday party, surely a large get together.
I found the location relatively easily, and as I pulled up I noticed I was the only car in the parking lot.
There was a reason for that. As I drove up I saw that the majority of the residents of the apartment complex were blind.
On the second level, a young woman was leaning against the balcony. She confirmed that I was at the right place.
“I have to call some people to get some more money.”
“That’s fine,” I replied, unsure if she was one of the blind residents. “Would you like me to bring the pizza up [to the second level]?”
“That’s probably best.”
She made a phone call and moments later, the rest of the party emerged on the lower level. There were five of them, all women. One was older and seemed to be mentoring the other four, who were probably in their late teens-early twenties. They were all blind. They filed out of the lower room, single-file, following the voice of the older woman as they used their canes to follow the grooves of the sidewalk to the stair way.
When they all reached the upper level, they figured out the payment. Paying for food is always an adventure with five or more people, and this was no exception. The young woman I encountered first payed me. She was not blind. Still, I sensed she could use a hand.
The party entered the upper level apartment, as I followed through the door, I noticed there was no furniture in the apartment aside from a small table near the rear. I made my way there carefully; they stood still, but I was anxious that there would be an incidental collision.
I put the food on the table and sorted out each of the items. The young woman who was helping the blind put each pizza in a spot so they could all find their meals easily.
I made my way back towards the door. As I reached the door, a young blind woman was standing beside the door with her hand on the knob. As I announced I was leaving, she said:
“Let me get that for you,” and opened the door with a ear to ear smile on her face.
“Thanks. Have a wonderful evening.”
As I got back into my car and made my way back, I found myself getting a little emotional. I was given a chance to improve the lives of people with far greater obstacles than I have, and it put things in perspective.
My qualms suddenly felt less significant. The loathsome attitude I had instantly vanished, and I stopped feeling sorry for myself. To me it was like God had just woke me up from a nap by dumping a bucket of cold water on my face and said:
“Dan, you are good person. You never thought twice about helping those young women. You saw the opportunity and you did what was needed, as small a gesture as it might seem. The tip wasn’t important was it? You did the right thing, like you usually do. Stop thinking you aren’t good enough.”
Thanks, I needed that.