So This Thing Happened …

Archive for August 2013

So there I was, driving to work this morning, trying to decide whether to hit Barnes & Noble or Starbucks for my morning caffeine when Donna Summer’s She Works Hard for Her Money came on the radio.

As I was singing along (badly) with Donna, I noticed a guy schlepping a trashbag full of empty soda cans along the highway by The Cannery Mall.  Now a sack of empty aluminum cans isn’t very heavy so in a split second, my thoughts went:

I wonder why he’s struggling with something that’s so light

Maybe he’s just been walking for a long time

Ha!  It fits the song well

(noticing his appearance)

He must be homeless or something



And then I was gone.

I’m not sure what my point is except it might be this:  In that instant my perspective changed and the dilemma of B&N vs. Starbucks became quite insignificant.  This happened over six hours ago and lasted for just a few seconds but I tell ya … I can’t get him out of my mind.  It wasn’t how he looked as much as the aura of exertion, of great effort that it seemed to take – just to get that sack of cans to the redemption center.  And the redemption value is probably about four bucks, if he’s lucky.  It struck me as a sort of allegory for the guy’s life in general.


It appears that the plight of those on the bottom rung of our economic ladder is the thing that could keep me up at nights – not because I don’t seem to be doing much about it, but instead – because I have no idea WHAT I/we can do.

So I changed the station and went to work.

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