A homeless man strolled past me the other day as I filled up my vehicle with gas. Pushing a shopping cart loaded with what appeared to be all his worldly possessions, the man was dirty, unshaven, and his long hair hadn’t likely seen a brush or comb in weeks. As I stood there, silently bitching about the cost of gasoline, I couldn’t help but wonder what tragedy had befallen him. Lay-off? Drug problem? Mortgage crisis? Mental health issues? The possibilities, in today’s world, seemed endless. Surely, I thought, this man had to be miserable.
Then, a funny thing happened.
He began to whistle.
Not just any whistle, but a heartfelt, Whistle While You Work kind of tune. Like he hadn’t a care in the world. Life was good. Nothing wrong.
There I stood, in Canada where I own a summer home, at five o’clock on a beautiful August morning, fed, clothed, loved and healthy, silently griping about the hundred-plus dollars it cost to fill up the beast that is my husband’s pick-up truck. Yes, I should have been the one whistling.
But I wasn’t.
And he was.
It’s all about attitude and Mr. Whistling Homeless Man could teach us all a thing or two.
© Robin Cain, 2012