Saturday, November 3, 2007

The people you meet along the way

Last night, Ken and I had a meeting with a guy who works for the company who owns the resort where we have our timeshare. Turns out it was a wasted trip for the guy (his name is Stan, by the way), because we had already dealt with the issue a couple of years ago in New Smyrna Beach by buying another week, this one every other year. But Stan wasn't upset, because he spent about 15 minutes or so talking to us, but got his money regardless!

Anyhoo, when the resort set up the appointment, they asked Ken if it would be a problem for Stan to get into the house, because Stan uses a walker. Ken said it might be kind of tough, because it's a bit of an incline to walk up to the house, but he'd make sure that the guy got in safely. So Stan finds our place, and it does indeed take him a while to get into the house, but Ken was right with him the whole time. I got him a glass of water while he caught his breath. He was really a nice guy. He said, "You know what your place reminds me of, driving in here? The movie 'Hoosiers'!" Yeah, I guess so, with all the leaves turning, and a nice, colorful carpet on the ground. (Note to myself: don't take this for granted any more. It really is beautiful.) That got us to talking about movies, and he said one of his all-time favorites is "Galaxy Quest." How can you not like a guy who loves "Galaxy Quest"?! We happened to have an extra copy, so we gave it to him, and he seemed to be pleased about that.

So what was so special about this guy? Well, let me tell ya. He spent 16 years as a Pennsylvania state cop. A couple of weeks before he was going to retire, he was shot while on duty. At first, he was in a wheelchair, but the docs gave him a chance at a surgery that would get him to a walker. He took the chance, and the surgery was successful, so now he's able to get around with a walker. He was fun to talk to, he had a positive attitude, and he basically demanded through his demeanor that you not define him by his disability. He and his wife have retired to New Smyrna Beach, but he still does some work with the resort. He gets around. He drives. Although he didn't give details, it looked like he had very little mobility in his legs.

After he left, I was of two minds. My first reaction was happiness to meet this guy, and a sense of gratitude that there are people like this in the world--not afraid to meet challenges, willing to work despite such a terrible injury, and able to continue to be a neat person to be around. When he left, I hoped that I would get to see him again, and I felt glad that I had met him. My other thoughts were not quite as positive. I felt intense anger, first at those who had shot him, then at those people who are perfectly capable of working, but choose to sit on their lazy asses and hold their hands out for what they feel is coming to them. This guy served the public for many years, he was shot while doing so, and he still gets around despite his injury.

If there are any Losers (and I DO mean that with a capital L) reading this--I hope there aren't, but you never know--let me tell you this, in no uncertain terms: stop making excuses for your lame life and start making a change. I have no sympathy whatsoever for anyone who refuses to take responsibility for their own life, and who expects everyone around them to pick up the pieces, give them a handout, and TAKE CARE of them. Take care of yourself, for God's sake! How little dignity do you have if you constantly ask others to take care of you, while you know deep down that you are perfectly capable of taking care of yourself? It's a matter of pride for me that I was able to live well on my own, manage my own finances, and put a hefty amount of money into savings, which came in handy when it came time to buy our house. Take control of your life and stop playing the victim card--"everyone is out to get me, everyone is ganging up on me, it's not my fault!" You know what? Chances are that much of it IS your fault, and this is where you step back and realize that you have to actually LEARN something from your mistakes.

JEEZ, why is this even an issue with people? Anyone with half a brain can figure it out.

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