I am currently in Toronto, Canada and quickly approaching the end of my book tour for The Corridor of Uncertainty. It is hard to believe that it is almost over. There are so many amazing experiences that I am sure I will never forget.
Earlier today, in my free time, I decided to go explore the downtown Toronto area, near Dundas Square. While I was walking around, I noticed a homeless man sitting on the side of the street. There was something different about him. He wasn’t asking any pedestrians for money like most homeless people do. In fact, money didn’t seem to be a priority for him at all. That immediately caught my attention.
So, I decided to stop and talk to him. I asked him if he was hungry, and he replied, “Yeah man, I’m really hungry.” Without thinking twice, I offered to buy him dinner. His face lit up with utter surprise. “Really!?”
“Of course! Is there any food in particular that you like most?” I questioned. He simply responded that he wasn’t fussy. We ended up walking to a McDonalds just one block down the street.
After sitting down to eat, I got a chance to hear his full story. His name was John, and he was only 34 years old. A few years earlier, he had been an extremely successful heating and cooling technician.
“I was doing really well for myself. I had a big house, nice cars, and a $20,000 credit card limit,” he reminisced. “But then I got into a bad car accident and my back and legs got all screwed up. I lost my job and became homeless. I have been staying in a shelter since, but I also recently lost my spot there because I didn’t show up one night before 8:30pm. Now I’m just on the streets.”
He seemed a bit sad. I suggested a few ways in which he could get help through social programs, but he just shook his head and said he felt embarrassed asking people for favors. Instead, he was determined to continue learning about heating and cooling on his own and become a top technician again one day. John was definitely different.
Thinking that he should be the one helping me instead, I asked him if he had any useful advice. He looked me straight in the eye and stated, “Just live life to the fullest, man. Squeeze in as many good memories as you can, because one day you might not be able to do so anymore.”
I have no doubt that John will make it back on his feet again. He is the true definition of a hard worker. Even after facing so many unfortunate incidents, he has not given up. He has kept pushing forward. In the same way, we must learn to let go of the circumstances in our lives that we cannot control. Worrying about things out of our control causes unnecessary stress. Instead, we should devote full attention to the circumstances that we can control, and never give up, no matter what the situation. What lessons did you learn from John’s story?