A small lesson in perspective.

Today as I was walking home from class, I was mentally budgeting the money that I have available as I await the arrival of a few sources of income that I am expecting to come over the next couple of weeks. As I walked thinking of this, I noticed a one dollar bill on the sidewalk ahead of me. I picked it up, taking it as a sign that there was no need to worry about money. All of my major bills have been taken care of for the month, and I could use a weekend in anyway, rather than going out. I tucked the dollar bill away in my pocket and continued along my walk home.

As I got a few blocks closer to my destination, I was stopped by a woman. She asked me if I had any change because she was trying to collect $3.00 in order to purchase a sandwich. I almost said, “Sorry, I don’t have anything” because I usually don’t carry cash, but then I remembered the dollar bill that I had found on the ground a few blocks back and gave it to her. 

I am a person who believes that everything happens for a reason, and I truly believe that this encounter was on purpose. This seemingly small experience had a profound impact on my day. At first, I took the initial significance to be a comforting reminder to myself to not stress about money, as I have sources of income on the way. However, after meeting the woman and giving her the dollar, I realized the importance of perspective. Throughout the day, I had been moody from thinking about a separate personal situation. Meeting this woman made me realize just how petty the things on my mind were in comparison to what she must be going through. Although I believe that all of our emotions and problems are valid, worrying about basic needs such as food, shelter, and water carry a much greater weight than any emotional issues. She  reminded me of the importance of being grateful for the things that I have. The positive things in my life greatly outweigh any perceived losses that I may be lamenting. I am grateful that I was able to make a positive impact on someone else’s day, and I am thankful to her for the positive impact that she had on mine.

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