Friday, November 18, 2011

Blessed are the pure in heart.

The local gas station up the street from where I live is always being run by the same man. I frequent this particular place about 3 times a week, without fail. The man has dread locks and speaks with an accent. Never a negative vibe from him. I usually just say my usual greeting, pay for my cheap cigarettes and go. But tonight I made a comment about how often he works, and he informed me that he works 7 days a week. I told him something along the lines of "well, at least you can sleep in" after finding out his ours at this BP station, but he shook his head. Little did I know, he's got a family of 4 in Africa, and he supports them by himself. "There's a second job", he tells me. "Sometimes you have to do more than you need to for just help others". He said that he doesn't always want to grind to pay the extra, but he is working his hardest to have his kids move here to Florida. It is worth the added effort to him, a beautiful and noteworthy thing. His heart was emerging from his body as he explained all of this. I saw the raw battle against self versus selflessness, and it was obvious the latter was winning.

The trapped feeling being emitted by this man lasted but a moment, when it took a bold turn to a positive outlook. His hard work and the love for his family brought me to a realization; what it means to be happy with what I have. I only support myself. I do what I want, when I want, and enjoy my part-time restaurant job. I don't even have any pets. I take care of ME, focus on ME, and never really think past the idea of my self-indulged lifestyle.

What happened tonight hit me hard in the heart. Made me think, reflect, and above all things it drew a gratefulness out of me that I'd not yet experienced. Sure, growing up you learn to be happy with what you have, but the more I think about this man's situation the more I look like a lousy human being. There's no award for being a self-absorbed part-time worker. And unfortunately there's not a scholarship for a pure heart. But there are blessings granted to those who are of this caliber. Unseen and unforeseen. I admire what is to come for such a being as this guy, whose name I cannot pronounce, from a place in Africa I cannot locate on a map, with a heart of love I can but hallucinate.

I realize I am blessed when I meet someone who supports their 3 kids in another country, works 2 jobs 7 days a week here in the states.. just make conversation with people, because understanding people's struggles and values is understanding gratitude and truly defines love. Real and untainted.

All it takes is a mouth to smile and an ear to hear.