Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thursday...with an attitude of gratitude : )

Time for another 'Thankful Thursday' here at Countin' My Blessings. Taking the time to actually practice the title of this blog makes such a difference in my life, so I plan to continue these Thursday posts of gratitude. If any of you care to join me, feel free! Just think how much positivity we could generate out here in Blogland! : ) If I had any idea how to create a button and do the Mr. Linky thingamajig, I'd do it. But that will take some time to figure out and today I just don't have that kind of time. (Yes, I'm a slow learner with this stuff, but I do get it eventually!)


Most folks probably first noticed his wild hair, long and standing out around his head like an unruly mop. I saw that, too. But what stood out for me was his smile. This big, beaming and so very sincere smile. It seemed obvious that he had very little reason to be wearing that smile, too. Standing at an intersection, holding a sign. An unkempt personal appearance. He was obviously homeless and panhandling.

Then that vehicle stopped and the man behind the wheel asked him to say something.

What. A. Voice.


An even bigger WOW? That smile. : ) It reached well beyond the boundaries of his lips, all the way to his eyes. And the words that spilled from him after that were beautiful to hear, too. Such kindness! No air of falsity or 'I'm just doing this to make myself look/sound good.' I was blown away by him and my heart was melted during that short video clip. I learned that his name is Ted and he's been homeless for more than a decade. And like all homeless people, Ted has a story. Please, if you haven't already seen it (and chances are good that you have, since it went viral shortly after being posted) click here. There are a couple of different videos about him on this site. The Today show interview is particularly terrific! : )


The dictionary defines goodness as being 'the best part of anything'. Ted may be homeless, may have caught a few bad breaks along the way, may have brought many of his troubles on himself. (Don't we all?) But he never stopped looking for the goodness. Now it has paid off for him. He found a new way of thinking and just kept on looking for that one little chance to make it better. I sure think he's found it. : ) And I also think it's great that he recognizes the possibilities before him and is willing to do what it takes to pull himself up by his bootstraps and MAKE LIFE BETTER.

I know that today Ted is grateful. Probably more than most of us can even imagine. But I also know that Ted has made me feel an awful lot of gratitude today as well.

I am grateful for Ted's story. Grateful that it has been put out there for everyone to see and that maybe, just maybe it will be an inspiration to someone who is really needing some encouragement today.

I am grateful for the goodness that I see in Ted and I hope he never lets that little light of his dim.

I am grateful for the goodness of Doral ChenowithIII, the videographer who took the time to talk to and film Ted. God bless you, sir. : )

And I am grateful for the feeling that this has given me and most of the people I know who have seen Ted's story and been affected by it:

A feeling of overwhelming HOPE.

*Hope because everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance.
*Hope because life happens, sometimes before we realize it, but it is possible to regain control.
*Hope because there are people out there who are willing and able to extend a helping hand.


My wish for you today is HOPE.
Lots of it.
Because without it, what do we really have?
: )