August 2010

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This was a rough month for both of us.  We have learned quite a bit about people.  Especially, the nasty side of people.  It is the side of selfishness, bad attitudes, and down right viciousness towards others.  We have learned who our ‘real friends and family’ are and we have included those folks on our growing list of ‘foul weather friends.’

‘Foul Weather Friends’ are friends who are only ‘friends’ with you when they need something from you such as an object or a skill you have that they supposedly need help on only to find out you are doing the entire work for them and usually for nothing in return other than being in their ‘mighty presence.’

Other folks are just complainers no matter what you do.  They will always find something to gripe about.  We call these folks “pigeons’ because they will always crap on anything, including the statue that offers them a safe resting place.  These folks are usually the ones that get a helping hand all the time and never do anything to improve them self or their situation.  Unfortunately, this is a rapidly growing population segment in the United States.

Last, are the “users and abusers,” these folks are very similar to the “pigeons” save for the additional fact that they not only gripe about everything, but talk up how they are not like “other folks.”  They are constantly putting others down and nit-picking everything.  And, they even do the same things that they gripe about others on and yet, it is not the same when they do the similar action they were griping about.  Yet, when you go to help these folks once or twice, it still isn’t enough for them and will never be for them.  All these folks can do is think only for themselves.  To think outside of them self is unheard of.

Most everyone will say the same thing, “It’s this incredible heat.  It definitely brings out the worst in folks.”   But, JJ and I have concluded, it is the only time of the year that “you really see people for what they are.”   August has no holidays, so I guess manners and being gracious to others is out the window during this time of year.

Yet, it only took one man, a stranger in a Quik Trip store, to do one simple act of kindness to me.  He smiled at me and took some of my misery off my shoulders as he listened to me wistfully wish for a hard winter on this 100+ heat day.  I had just finished mowing three yards, we still had another appointment at another property with some maintenance issue, and still had three more yards to mow on top of my own yard.  To top of that, I had just watched a girl, who was talking on her cell phone while driving, completely oblivious to traffic all around her, cut off a driver behind her nearly killing the family in the car on board as it was forced off the road and into the metal railing.  The woman never noticed the accident she caused behind her and I was stunned as I watched her bumper grow smaller as she continued ‘cruising’ noting the license tag and the “I Love Jesus” and some “honor roll student” sticker.  I have never felt as sick as I did that day, checking in on the accident victims and giving them the license number of the vehicle.  That was just the morning.

As the man and I stood in the checkout line, he being ahead of me, he bought my soda as he paid for his.  No reason other than to ‘pay it forward.’  I drank my soda lunch, finished the rest of the yards, even finished painting on a house, only to have deal with more nasty attitudes from folks as I tried to make my way through the day.  But that one simple act, out shone all the other crap that went on that day, that week, and for the month of August.

It’s too bad he is such a rare breed of mankind amongst us these days.


Crissy and Johnny