I was driving home from grocery shopping one day when I saw this little boy in the picture holding a clipboard and smiling. It was your typical, chilly 58 degree San Francisco day and the boy stood so patiently in his parka, saying “hello” to every passerby. His presence filled my heart and I zipped Moose around the corner to park so I could see what he was selling. Whatever he was selling, I was going to buy!
Little Henry was selling $1 raffle tickets to support his school choir so they could take a trip down to Los Angeles and perform. Oh my goodness Henry, you are a star! I pulled out my wallet and gave him my only bill and told him I’ll take 10. His smile got even bigger as he gave me the clipboard and asked me to fill out my contact info.
“Thank you Mr!“, Henry said gleefully. I smiled back at him asking if I could take his picture. Of course he said yes to one of his best customers.
Henry, it is I who thanks you. You’ve given me perhaps years of mental smiles and motivation that I so dearly need all the time. Why do I love to blog so much? It’s partly because of memories like this where I can capture, record, and come back to any time in the future.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Everything about Henry made me want to open my wallet and support him. As I think further, it was simply his smile that allowed every single passerby to at least acknowledge Henry and say ‘hello’ back. I’m sure at the end of the day, Henry walked away with hundreds of dollars!
When I got back home, I began to really go through a myriad of emotions. I remembered all the times I couldn’t go outside to play with friends because I hadn’t finished my homework yet. I remember thinking as a kid how I never had enough money to buy anything the other kids had, such as a camera or a Nintendo. I’d sulk in my room like a spoiled brat. I then recalled a change in attitude in the 9th grade where I started taking responsibility for myself. I got a job at McDonald’s for $3 an hour, opening up the store at 6am to bleary-eyed customers just so I could buy what I wanted.
The reason why I don’t believe in handouts and big government is because of kids like Henry who are out there working hard for what they want. Someone had to tell Henry that if he wants to go to LA and sing in the choir that he would have to help his team raise some money. It was apparent to me that Henry loves to sing and would do anything to make his trip a reality.
The reason why I’m so bullish on all of us is that we all have the power to make something happen. We live in a free world where nobody is inhibiting us to go out there and achieve our goals. I don’t have pity parties, and I certainly don’t pity anybody who complains about this problem or that problem. Every time I hear a complaint, in my mind I think to myself, “Just try harder.” Sometimes the thoughts get nastier such as, “STFU, you baby“, but essentially it always comes back to “just try harder“.
Sometimes trying harder gets a little tiring, I admit it. Burnout is an inevitable part of life. What we need to do is try hard at something we enjoy. We’ve also got to realize our strengths and weaknesses so we don’t go down a never ending path of failures.
The next time you feel like complaining, think about the Chilean Miners, or Henry. These people are out there making the most of their situation and doing something about it. They aren’t just whining about how life is unfair, or how somebody treated them poorly, or how another is gaming the system at their expense. No. They are focused on controlling what they can control, which are their own actions.
If you don’t want be broke, know that you can become rich. If you don’t want to be out of shape, know that you can get in shape. If love is what you want, know that there are millions of people out there looking for the same thing. There is nothing we can’t do. Thank you Henry for your inspiration!
Readers, share with us any little inspirations you might have come across. Why do people complain so much instead of do something to improve their situation? Does low self-esteem play a part in not allowing people to take action? If not, what is it?
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