What a Rich Life Indeed
*This story is an excerpt from Kim Ades’s book, What You Focus On Grows.
I saw him at Subway. I’m guessing he was about 32. His hair was disheveled and he had a mustard stain on his shirt. There was a walker parked nearby.
The woman he was with looked like his grandmother. She was helping him eat his submarine sandwich and wiping the drool off his chin. His hands were covered with red goop – I think it came from the tomato that squirted out of his sandwich.
But he smiled, and he rocked, and he squealed with glee. Every bite was taken with absolute pleasure and delight. I have never watched anyone enjoy eating anything as much as this man.
It made me think about how most of us rarely even taste the food we eat. About how we go through life barely noticing the flavors in our meals, the color in our neighborhoods, and the fascinating wealth of experience in the people we interact with.
We spend a lot of time trudging through life and hardly notice the world we live in. We miss so much because we are simply not paying attention to the miracle of all of the creations around us. We take for granted so many things that we ought to be grateful for.
Watching this man eat his sub made me wonder about his quality of life. Clearly he was not able to live like the rest of us. He was unable to communicate clearly, he could not walk without assistance, and although I can not be certain, it appeared that having any type of job was beyond his capacity. He was probably not married or engaged in any type of intimate relationship. His life was different.
One could say he was short changed and his life lacked some of the basic privileges the rest of us are afforded. Some might feel sorry for him and some might feel terrified to live in such a condition. But he was happy. What a rich life indeed.