Recently, more than usual, I have been really hearing what people say. Not just to me, but what they say to others, including themselves.
Someone was commenting on the weather and decided it was a bad day because it was raining. Someone else couldn’t find their car keys so they could get to work, and that was the beginning of a bad day. I asked someone else what constituted a bad day for them and they shared that when they could not get their hair to do what they wanted it to, it “ruined” their day. Another person said that being in the retail business caused many a bad day because the customers were often “rude” or “nasty”.
Personally, I am happy to wake up and see a new day. The weather is nothing I can control and that is a huge relief to me. Being in charge of the weather would be a challenge to say the least.
Then I think of the homeless kids I love so much. They live outside, seldom have decent food, clean water or proper clothing, never know when they might get arrested or put back into the foster care system and honestly, being homeless and ranging in age from 23 to 6 years old is insane to me. What is even more enlightening to me is that they don’t really complain about the weather, their hair, traffic jams, being late, their clothes; most don’t even complain about being homeless.
I also spend a lot of time with people who have cancer and AIDS. They don’t complain about lost keys, the weather, hair…bald is beautiful, their clothes, traffic….they are just grateful for a new day.
Spending time with the women in prison gives another new perspective on the “bad” day. They have made mistakes…; some intentional, some circumstantial, some were all about how they grew up and the will to survive in a world that had never been kind to them. Yes they have food, clothing, a place to sleep, and not too many worries if you don’t count missing your children, your family, or freedom. You may be saying to yourself that they are in prison because they did something “bad.” But, I have a really hard time judging them. I was not in their shoes and these women are not career criminals. They just made a mistake, so they sit day in day out in a cell. Many don’t see the sky, or breathe the crisp almost winter air. Their families sometimes write, but they are stuck in time until they have served their sentences.
So, what is a “bad” day? My personal intention is that no day is bad. It is an opportunity, an adventure, a blessing a chance to make a positive difference in the space where I live.
What is your “bad” day?
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