On gratitude

19 Oct

Beggar (Fisher Girl) by Ilya Efimovich Repin

I’m sharing you this artwork for a reason, and it is not the beautiful sentiment of the piece, although that is a reason enough in itself. But today, I’m sharing you this piece because I met a very inspirational man who reminded me of the above portrait.

I work in a supermarket and though I try to treat all my customers with equal respect and cheerfulness, sometimes you meet people who are just something different, in all the good ways. This man was one of them.

He was buying leather shoes. I soon found out his character was as soft as the beautiful, slender texture of the shoes. Because suddenly, he asked me if I knew what ‘crow boots’ were. I was bemused and said that I wasn’t sure if they were part of our range, they didn’t sound familiar.

At my remark, the man bursted out laughing and said they hadn’t been part of anyone’s range for the past 50 years, at least not in Finland or countries of equal social security.

‘ Crow boots were the crust that dried on your feet when you had been plodding through wet mud and dirt all day. Crow boots were the only shoes I had as a kid. 55 years ago… when things were a bit different.”

Then the man seemed to contemplate something for a moment, so I said in wonderment:

“It must be really weird to see the difference so clearly now, how things have changed for kids and teenagers.”

“Yes… but they were good times too, you know. In their own way, simpler and good.”

The man’s smile and content left me in awe. There was a boy behind him queueing to buy an iPad 4. He was sulking. I wished the man a lovely weekend. I wished the boy would be grateful and see the difference.

It is hard to understand the ways in which things have changed in such a short time. To think that I have 10 pairs of shoes and have taken them for granted all my life. It is indeed a blissful world where you can complain about missing a bus, runny make-up, long queues in shops and spiders in your house.

I’ll risk sounding terribly serious and morbid, and say: I don’t like the way how ‘First world problems’ has become a jokily phrase over the internet. It is not a joke, although we should laugh everyday, because we indeed are terrible lucky and blessed.

I learnt a lot from that man today. I learnt how to be happy and grateful. I learnt to love my shoes a little bit more too, if that is possible for a girl.

What do you love and are grateful for?

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6 Responses to “On gratitude”

  1. ruleofstupid October 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    It’s a mocked and retro view, but I agree utterly. We often behave like spoilt children – forgetting the luxury in which we live.
    I am grateful that I am loved. I’m deeply attached to some toys (my Mac for example) – but really, the only thing that would hurt if I lost it is my guitar – and that’s more than a ‘toy’. Otherwise family is all.

    • daydreamdaisies October 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      Oh I know. What I don’t understand is why it is mocked? I hate the cold values that rule today in many places, the competition and individualism on the verge of ignorance, turning all our lives into achievements. Why is it acceptable to beat someone down by your actions on thep process of winning?
      And guitar and family sound like a good combination of priorities. 🙂

      • ruleofstupid October 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

        I have ‘hints’ in my head, ideas I can’t congeal – it’s easier to mock the nurse than attempt to heal… but maybe this needs a post of it’s own. How to do with humour? Hmm.

      • daydreamdaisies October 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

        Well said. And the reason I love your blog: it always makes me laugh while making me think. That is a good combination.

  2. pinkbananashoes October 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Thank you for such a lovely post. I’m grateful for so much but it’s nice to be reminded of it. Peace x

    • daydreamdaisies October 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

      Thank you for taking time to comment and read. : ) You brought a smile upon my face, I’m glad my post reached you. x

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