Last week I was one of many in a wave of layoffs. The day that I was laid off, I was still reeling from the sound of:
But life has a way of trying to put you right side up in times of strife. That afternoon I was getting out of my car to get groceries, a homeless person was standing in the parking lot, the day was cold and wintry. He was selling a newspaper called The Contributor.
The Contributor provides a livelihood to about 400 homeless people or formally homeless newspaper vendors. After selling their papers, over a third find housing. Many more of them find the strength to turn their lives in a new direction. The vendors buy each paper for $0.24 and sell them for $1 each + tips, keeping the profit.
I had a bundle of warm yellow winter gloves in the back seat of my car. I pulled a pair out and brought it over to the man selling his newspapers. He was so happy to have the gloves to keep his hands warm. He thanked me, and I told him that I had just lost my job that very morning. Immediately in an excited tone, he pointed to the Office Depot across the parking lot. “This is your lucky day, ma’am, Office Depot is now hiring extra help for the holiday season, you tell them that Jimmy sent you, and I am sure you can pick up some hours.”
Jimmy also worked there part time in addition to standing on corners all day to make money. My feeling of fear and sadness immediately turned into comfort with a smile to my face. Here was someone with so much less than myself, proud to give me a lead for a job and help me out.
Everyone always has an idiom for you, “when one door closes, another one opens” and “that was meant to be”. All of us make our own destiny, “make lemonade out of lemons”.
When you are feeling lost in life, giving to others brings you back up, puts a smile on your face, makes you feel a part of something bigger than yourself, and as well it makes you realize that your situation is not as bad as it seems. New friends are made. The next morning I went to Starbucks, and handed out some more gloves, and this time a cup of coffee to go along with it. Who knows… maybe I’ll make a job out of this!
Jimmy Cliff “You can get it if you really want it…”
P.O. Box 332023
Nashville, TN 37203