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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Knowledge Is The Key

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photo from ehow.com

Yesterday I had to run some errands at a local SuperStore. As I exited my car and tried to shove my keys into my purse I discovered that they would not fit. The keys were so bulky that I could not get them to fit inside my pockets, either. Dumb keys, I thought to myself as I threw them into the child-seat of my shopping cart.

Once my purchases were complete I made my exit. As I approached the corral for the shopping carts in the parking lot I noticed a man in tattered clothes sifting through a trash can there.

"You have a Merry Christmas!" he said to me, smiling. I grabbed my purchases from my cart, responded with, "You too!" and pushed my cart into the corral, hurrying towards my car.

I heard a voice from behind me.

"Miss! Wait! Miss!" the man called after me. I glanced over my shoulder and confirmed that it was the poorly dressed man who had just wished me a merry Christmas. To be honest, I was initially a bit frightened. Why was this man rushing towards me? Was he going to ask for money? Should I rush to my car and get inside?

I stopped near my car, turning to face him. "Yes?" I asked, still somewhat nervous as to his intentions.

"You left your keys in the cart," he said as he handed them to me, still smiling.

I sighed. I was grateful and told him so.

"I used to have keys," he told me. "I remember how much I hated to lose them."

In that moment it seemed as if a million questions passed through my mind. What had happened to bring him to his current state? Did he lose his job? Did he have a home somewhere? A family? What sorts of locks did he open with the keys he no longer had now?

But before I could say another word, he was walking away. "You have a good day, now," he said with a sideways wave.

"Thanks again. Thanks so much," I called after him.

I looked at my keys. Keys to my car(s!) and my home; keys to closets and safes. So many keys. Keys that I complain about when really, each key represents a comfort or blessing in my life.

I had never been so thankful for a bulky set of keys.

And thankful to the man who reminded me that I take too much for granted.


Kimm said...

What a great story! Thanks for the reminder to appriciate my keys! I needed that today!

Rachel said...

Wow Gerb! What more can be said? Amen! And have a very happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Brown Thumb Mama said...

Wow. Really makes you think, huh? I'll be thankful for my keys from now on too.

shoezimm said...

It really makes you think, doesn't it? I don't ever think I will look at my keyring quite the same way.

Happy Holidays Gerb...and thanks for the touching story.

Richard & Natalie said...

What a great and timely experience. Thanks for sharing it. I am appreciating all of my keys today. Happy Thanksgiving!

Gerb said...

Kimm- Pretty amazing what simple things we can take for granted, isn't it?

Rachel- Thanks for the well-wishes. I hope you enjoyed your celebration as well.

Pam- It really struck me how I never realized what a blessing keys were. The bulkier, the better!

ShoeZ- It really did. I hope you're having a fantastic Thanksgiving surrounded by family. Happy holidays to you, too.

Natalie- Quite the coincidence that it would happen when it did, isn't it? I wonder if it's because I've been looking for blessings that I noticed the lesson there.

Anaise said...

Ooooh, that's a good story . . .

Lori said...

I'll never look at my keys in quite the same way again. It's the little things, isn't it?

LauraB said...

What a great story. Thanks for sharing, Gerb. I hope you and your family are having a wonderful holiday season.

Teachinfourth said...

Sometimes we 'forget' to see those blessings which are around us, don't we? I hope that I can always strive to see what it is which I truly have...

Gerb said...

Anaise- Glad you enjoyed it.

Lori- It really is.

Laura- It was a great learning moment for me, that's for sure. Safe travels this holiday!

T5th- I certainly do, more often than I'd like to admit.

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