I met a man today

by lulujane on January 11, 2014

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This morning as I was taking my recyclables to an outdoor receptacle  a man wearing thick glasses approached. Holding onto the handlebars of his adult tricycle he guided it toward the dumpsters.  He offered to lift the lids of the containers so that I could easily unload my paper, cardboard and containers and when doing so, he had his antennae up for bottles and cans.

He couldn’t believe that people throw away their returnable bottles and cans as he sees the value in them.    This gentleman told me that he is on a disability pension for a vision related issue and proudly shared that he usually earns about $300 a month for his work.

In a way I am like him.  I see the value in the simple things, and even although I don’t need the money I had a hard time thinking about thoughtlessly discarding my bottles into a bin.   I had about eight bottles in my garage that had been collecting dust and mentioned this to him.  He followed me the short distance to home and excitedly accepted my humble offering.  Each bottle was carefully placed and arranged in the large, cardboard lined carrier already holding neatly packed bottles in different sizes and shapes.

Over the years I have noticed a few people on bikes with large carriers laden with treasures of the day.  And I haven’t given it much thought – until today.  Even though this fellow is on a disability pension he likely gets up each day and makes his rounds searching for the booty that allows him a more comfortable financial situation. He isn’t standing on a corner with his hand out, or presenting himself on an expressway exit wearing a sign telling us he is a victim.  I see him as an empowered person with a personal mission to do what he must to take care of himself.

On the day we met it was snowy, slushy and wet; not an easy day to be navigating our streets and roads on a bicycle, yet he was engaging in his job as if it were sunny and clear. The inclement weather didn’t stop him. He had a job to do. He enjoyed what he was doing and was proud of the revenue it generated for him.

The way I see it, so much about life is all about Attitude.

I was impressed.

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