I went to the grocery store this morning. Just outside the door was a young boy standing next to his bike. The bike had a basket on it and in that basket were some paper flowers. There was a sign taped to his bike that read, "Ethan's Origami". His smile was genuine and filled his whole face. He was one who would possibly have been shunned in most social settings because he had obvious mannerisms indicating lack of control over a lot of his muscles. I don't know even how to describe him. When he made eye contact, said "Hi" and waved at me, I melted. I walked over and had him describe his 'product' to me. His sales pitch was simple, with absolutely no pressure. As I selected the one I wanted and gave him my money, he added, "Half of the money goes to Primary Children's Hospital, too." Wow. He's possibly spent time there. Looking at him, I not only felt compassion but also gratitude that I lack his challenges in my life. Yet even with his challenges, he has found something he can do and sees others in need of his help. I returned to my car and watched him for a bit. Forget the chicken turning green in the back and the Max getting warm enough to explode. I was fascinated. He treated everyone the same, greeting them with a wave and a smile-filled "Hi!". And when no one was around, he danced! Joyfully. There was no music any of the rest of us could hear but, oh, how I would liked to have had him share the music he heard. Judging by his magnificently simple movements, it must have been a song of gratitude for the beautiful world he felt shining on him!
Maybe I lack his apparent handicaps and challenges, but I think I'm realizing today that he is much less challenged than I am in not-so-obvious ways. If all my lessons were so inexpensive and at the same time, so powerful.