Friday, July 16, 2010
I pulled up some rough drafts I had wrote and found this one. I hope you don’t mind but I felt it attribute to the emotions I have from your presence here yesterday. Please except it as my thank you for commenting on and following my blog.
I sit here on this day feeling somewhat reminiscent. I begin to recall all the good people that have passed by in my working life. Those people I have toiled with, laughed with, and yes, even argued with. As I take this stroll down memory lane a disheveled, somewhat oddly dressed character comes to mind. Do you need a shoeshine, miss?
My memory had stuck on our local shoeshine man. To my knowledge we only had one and oh, what a colorful character. A middle-aged black man with dreadlocks, wearing tennis shoes and sporting his thrift store mix and match business suit topped by a depression era hat. He always had some new accessory he just had to share with you. Which he used as a conversation starter.
The shoeshine man would always start by explaining his new accessory. Why he wore it, where it had come from and most importantly what it meant. This was his hook and the hook would always lead to his latest new big plan of which, he was most certain would work.
Now, most people shooed the shoeshine man away, with a simple wave of their hand they would send him on his way. Most people never ever heard his new big plan, let alone the latest version. I on the other hand would take the time to listen, to hear this new big plan; after all it did not cost anything.
His plan always went something like this: if I do this, causing this result, this will happen and we all will be better. His whole thought process centered on finding one workable way to solve the world’s problems. He just wanted everyone to get along, to be loved, to give love, and to find a way that everyone could live their lives with joy.
A couple of months after I was laid off, so too was the shoeshine man. One day last summer he dropped dead on the street and had lay there for hours before someone thought to help. But do you know what the really sad part was?
He had not been a crazy shoeshine man and in fact he was harmless. He was a college-educated man who had thrown away his a wealthy, businessman job. Why? Because he felt being a shoeshine man would allow him to meet people and afford him the chance to make things better, besides in his mind shoe shinning was a lost art.
I recall all of this because on at his passing the local paper afforded him a fine farewell obituary. But do you know what his one goal in life was quoted as being? His only goal in life had been to meet people and make them smile. To spread joy where ever he could and if you were so inclined he would shine your shoes too.
So as I read your comments yesterday they reminded me of the shoeshine man and his wish to make one smile. Did you know the shoeshine man? Why do I ask, because you sure did make me smile.