The Lame Even Smile

June 21, 2017

 

 

I quickly transitioned into crisis management mode as I thought through all my options to accomplish my long to-do list.  Oh yeah . . . and somehow pick up my kids from school that afternoon.  I didn't want to bother my husband at work as leaving to chauffeur me around for the day was not a likely option.

 

So, I called our insurance company who explained that my situation was not covered unless it resulted from an accident. I called Enterprise but somehow the headquarters didn't realize that no on could pick me up in 30 minutes from the local store nor was there a car available for me there (despite booking one over the phone). Then I tried to call the local Avis, but they suddenly disappeared off my map. Finally, I found a new location near-by and called a friend down the street . . . who ended up being sick. I couldn't ask her to get out of bed to drive me around the corner! Thankfully, her college-age son was home and used his youthful energy to hop in his car and drive me to my knight in shining armor .  . . or at least the man in the button-down company shirt with a car to spare and a shiny set of keys to match.

 

I've always said that computers and cars are great when they work and a huge inconvenience when they don't. But . . . this is only something said in a first-world situation. It's a luxury to even own a vehicle and we many times forget it's a privilege to drive around the corner for food, pick up antibiotics at the 24-hour care center, or even turn on our faucet for clean water to drink. We need to be thankful. Mindful. Aware. We need to remember that life is not as hard as it could be and that a smile is possible in all circumstances.

 

The man in the picture above is a stark reminder of this life lesson. I met him on my walk through a slum in India. It was the most memorable visit because of the honor I had to be taken through the village. The other female foreigner visiting was asked to stay at the school while I was escorted around to take pictures of the community. 

 

This slum had no electricity nor running water. But that didn't stop from finding smiles on some faces and stories of hope. This lovely gentleman left a huge impression on me. Not just because of his handsome genuine smile, but because of his joy despite his circumstances.  He cannot walk and uses a handcrafted wheelchair to get around the uneven packed mud streets. His friends near-by assist him with his daily tasks. Although he was handicapped, his positive demeanor that afternoon was testament that community and a few resources are enough to "turn a frown upside down."

 

 

He is a wonderful reminder that we need to look at our trials and difficulties with possibility and wonder. We have the power to choose our path and shape our attitudes to match.

 

So, when your car doesn't start or your dryer breaks or your cell phone is acting up or your feet are tired from working all day . . . remember to smile because life isn't really that hard.

 

Even the lame smile which takes them on a long journey of contentment and happiness. Where are your reactions taking you to?

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