Last night I saw a man without hands.
I had had a lousy day yesterday. A long, exasperating day at work. My partner and I were out at dinner in the city, chatting about being glad that the work day had come to an end, then went on to argue about something mundane. That's when I saw him, the man without hands. I asked my partner what he would do without hands. Prompt came a thoughtless 'I don't know'.
Both sleeves hanging loosely, swaying with the evening breeze. Otherwise, no different from any other passer by. Talking amicably with his companion. Stopping at shops and gazing through windows, yes smiling. Even laughing. Yet, how different he is to every other passer by. He has no hands. No touch. No feel. How does he dress himself? How does he eat? Do anything??
Consider the first 5 things you do when you wake up in the morning. Head for the bathroom, open the bathroom cabinet, get your brush out, squeeze toothpaste onto it, brush your teeth. How fortunate I am. How fortunate we with hands are.
I had a bad day at work, I was grouchy. Tomorrow is another day, that doesn't help my mood today. This man has no hands, he's still smiling. He will have no hands tomorrow, or ever. He's still smiling now.
Why is it we are only as happy as there are other people that are more miserable. If I was, by comparison, the most unfortunate person around, how would that affect my attitude? Would I also be the most unhappy person? Or would it still be someone who has hands, but had a bad day at work?