Monday, February 20, 2012

Nice people with sad stories (or, how the Mexican flower shop man taught me a life lesson)

Sometimes the best people have the worst fortunes.  I feel lucky when I think about how easy I've had it.  Yes, my life has had it's tough times, but those consisted of things like not knowing when or how to grow up or getting a stomach ache.  I've had to work hard for a lot of things like getting into college, getting internships out here in LA, etc. but even with all that work, a lot of stuff just worked itself out.  It's an amazing thing to have some luck in life, but I feel guilty about it when I see people who are truly sacrificing almost everything so they can have a better life.

The other day, the woman I live with, J, and I went over to a mutual friend's house for dinner.  We stopped by a flower shop on the way to buy a house present.  As seems to be her custom, J got to talking with the owner of the shop and we soon got to hear his whole, sad story.

He was working in the U.S. to make money for his family back in Mexico, and he was adamant that he would go back before the end of this year.  The saddest part: he hadn't seen his wife and kids for 9 years.

I can't even imagine not seeing my family for one year.  It's such a sad story, which it feels like many people here have.  It seems like this man's story will have a happy ending, but I know that can't be the case for everyone.

I was very touched when, after a long chat with the man, he gave J and me each a rose as a late Valentine's Day gift.  J tried to give him a small tip because he had been so wonderful, talking to us and then giving us flowers, but he wouldn't take it.  J finally convinced him to take it by saying it could go towards his children, but I was baffled at the man's generosity and humility, even in those circumstances.

It sometimes makes me wish I could experience that kind of adversity, just so I could learn how to really make the most what I had, the way this man had.

1 comment:

  1. I love this one. Keep opening your heart and mind to stories and people. It's a nice thing to pass on, as you have so nicely.