Man in a Wheelchair.


I'll put this with the "grass is always greener" thinking.

Or, "wouldn't you like to be her for a day?"

Perhaps, "I wish I was in his shoes."

Why is it that we are often so unhappy with where we are and spend so much time wishing we were somewhere else?

Then there's the "if only's."

"If only" I were born in a different time.

"If only" I were taller...shorter...younger...older.

"If only" I had married the first guy, or waited to get married later.

Well, you were born when you were born, you are as tall, short, fat, thin, young, old and married to whomever you are married to.

What are you going to do about it all?

I saw him sitting there at the corner waiting to cross the street. Actually I had seen him a few times before. I drive through this intersection nearly everyday. Every time I see him I think, "I should pull over and help him."

But I didn't.

That is until today.

Why this guy? What made him look like he even needed my help? He looked frail to me. I have seen him cross after passing him by and he moved slowly and he was in a wheelchair.

I was a boy scout for a day, so this wasn't a part of my childhood "call to duty" scout training.

It is, however, a part of who I am. I had been disappointed in myself lately because I usually listen to that inner voice the first time without hesitation.

It wasn't until today that I realized I was supposed to wait.

I needed this guy more than he needed me.

There is conflict in my life right now. It is a battle not only going on in my mind, but in my heart. I have tried to understand, make excuses for, forgive someone, but am failing desperately.

Because I love people so much, when I can't resolve a relationship, I see it as a fault of my own. My thinking goes to "maybe you aren't doing your job. Maybe you aren't trying hard enough." I question "me."

I did until today.

There he was again. Waiting at the corner. This time the voice said, "Help him!"

I pulled off, got out of my car, and rushed to his side .

"My friend, can I help you get across?"

He was slightly slumped forward. His hands were covered by gloves, but the finger tips had been cut off revealing his rough, calloused skin and longer than normal nails.

He turned towards me and said, "Now you made me miss the light!"

Sure enough, the light had changed and the traffic started moving.

"I'm sorry!" I said and then went on to explain that I had seen him there before and wanted to stop to help him.

"Not necessary," he said. "I do quite well on my own."

Okay, now I felt awkwardly rejected adding to my already confused self image.

"Oh, fine. I just..."

"Come on, it's my turn. I'll help you," he said interrupting me.

I stood there confused, not knowing what to do.

"Come on if you're coming!" he shouted and before I realized it, he was half way across the street.

I rushed to catch up and grabbing the handles, I heard him say, "No, don't push."

We walked the rest of the way and when he came to a stop, he turned and said, "Don't feel sorry for me."

"Well, it's not that I was feeling sorry for you..."

"Yes, you were," he replied. "Or maybe you were feeling sorry for yourself?"

That hit me.

He motioned with his hand to come closer.

Bending over toward him, he placed his hand on my shoulder and said, "This happened to me when I was in my 50's. It hit me hard. I hated self pity, but hated anyone's pity even more. One day, after questioning myself for weeks, I came to a simple conclusion."

He then reached into his shirt pocket. It was stuffed with pieces of paper, a pocket protector and four ink pens.

Flipping through a few pages of a small spiral notebook, he came to a blank page. With the click of his pen he scribbled a few letters and handed it to me.

"Here's your lesson for today. Thanks for stopping. Just wave next time."

Then off he went.

I took the slightly crumpled paper and opening it found this: "OK 2 Be Me"

I smiled as I saw him disappear around the corner.

Maybe if I had stopped the first time I saw him, I wouldn't have been so hard on myself lately.

I'll look for him and next time I won't feel so bad passing him by. I'll just wave.

It's "OK2BME".

~ Bob Perks ~

[ by: Bob Perks Copyright © 2008 ( -- {used with permission} ]

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