“I used to worry a lot,” he said, “but one spring day in 1934, I was walking down West Dougherty Street in Webb City when I saw a sight that banished all my worries. It all happened in ten seconds, but during those ten seconds I learned more about how to live than I had learned in the previous ten years. For two years I had been running a grocery store in Webb City, I had not only lost all my savings, but I had incurred debts that took me seven years to pay back. My grocery store had been closed the previous Saturday; and now I was going to the Merchants and Miners Bank to borrow money so I could go to Kansas City to look for a job. I walked like a beaten man. I had lost all my fight and faith. Then suddenly I saw coming down the street a man who had no legs. He was sitting on a little wooden platform equipped with wheels from roller skates. He propelled himself along the street with a block of wood in each hand. I met him just after he had crossed the street and was starting to lift himself up a few inches over the kerb to the sidewalk. As he tilted his little wooden platform to an angle, his eyes met mine. He greeted me with a grand smile. ‘Good morning, sir. It is a fine morning, isn’t it?’ he said with spirit. As I stood looking at him, I realised how rich I was. I had two legs. I could walk. I felt ashamed of my self-pity. I said to myself if he can be happy, cheerful, and confident without legs, I certainly can with legs. I could already feel my chest lifting. I had intended to ask the Merchants and Miners Bank for only one hundred dollars. But now I had courage to ask for two hundred. I had intended to say that I wanted to go to Kansas City to try to get a job. But now I announced confidently that I wanted to go to Kansas City to get a job. I got the loan; and I got the job.
“I now have the following words pasted on my bathroom mirror, and I read them every morning as I shave:
I had the blues because I had no shoes, until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.
I came accross this story when I was reading Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” and I thought of sharing it with you. This simple story made an impact on me and made me think how foolish we are when we take things for granted… Why don’t we open our eyes wide and see how beautiful everything is?
“What would you take for your two legs? your hands? your hearing? your children? your family? Add up your assests, and you will find that you won’t sell what you have for all the gold of the world”
What would you take for this breath? for this life?
( The text in italic is from Dale Carnegie, “how to stop worrying and start living”, Chapter 15, available on this link. the rest is by Zeina Gabriel)
Thank you 🙂