The Secret of (My) Success
Today, I was leaving my work with a group of friends. It was a regular day, punctuated by us going on and on about how much we despise our jobs and how we’d do anything short of selling our souls to not have to return. I’m usually the one out in front on these sorts of things. I have no head for corporate America. That selling-our-souls part is negotiable.
Across the street, in the awning of a local bank, a homeless man stands with everything he owns stuffed into garbage bags. His hands are in his pockets, and he’s dressed for the cold; it’s supposed to rain soon, and getting into the Salvation Army here is tricky. Chances are he’ll be on his own tonight.
I’m the only one who sees this man, and doing so silences any protest about my job. I looked at him and saw myself ten years ago, although he was much older than I am now. I gave him the spare cash I had on me—six bucks—in hopes of appeasing my conscience, which was railing me. How dare you be so ungrateful.
I’m thirty-four years old now. I never thought I’d see thirty. I never thought I’d have a relationship with my kids, never thought I’d live on my own anyplace nice, never thought I’d have a career that didn’t involve crime or violence. Never thought I’d be any sort of role model. But here I am.
We take so much in our day-to-day life for granted. It’s easy to become complacent; we gripe about rising gas prices while forgetting we have cars that get us to and from where we need to be. I bitch about a job that doesn’t treat me well, but I wouldn’t be where I was today without it.
The secret of (my) success is simple; never take anything for granted. A simple set of circumstances can take you from where you are to the worst place you can imagine. Live in each moment, while being aware of the future. Don’t sit and waste precious time pondering your future; go get it. If you fail, you fail. So what? Learn from what you did before and try again. Keep trying till you get it right. You either will, or learn a hell of a lot on the way.
All of this was inspired by a homeless man I crossed paths with today. I like to think that the next time I want to bitch about something, I’ll remember the big picture, smile, and go on with my day.
I hope you do too.
Thanks for reading.
(c) Avery K. Tingle for Akting Out LLC
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