At least once a week on my way into work there is a man who runs, and during his run he wears gloves and carries a trash bag with him. He runs down one of the major cross streets of my community. So the first time I seen him I was wondering if he had lost his dog. Then the next week later, I got caught at a red light and saw him running when I noticed that he was filling his trash bag with littered trash. As the light turned green I drove away slightly puzzled, my first thought to myself was “why is there no one monitoring him?” (I was under the assumption he was completing involuntary community service). But when I saw him that same week I had an opportunity to really see his face and noticed he was older than I originally thought and there was not as single other person in his immediate vicinity, which made me realize this was all completely voluntary.
I think of this nameless man on my way to work often, appreciative of the fact that he is helping keep the value of my property up by keeping our community clean. I often imagine myself out there picking up trash with him (volunteer work is something I did often in the past and would like to resume that practice with my son when he gets older), but I have not physically gone out and done anything to help. Watching him makes me feel pessimistic about wanting my son to have a philanthropic heart because I don’t think I will be the example to him that I have created in my imagination. I have no reason not to go out and volunteer now, but it is something that have not done in years, so why would that miraculously change. We have so many ideas and practices that sounds great in theory but for one reason or another things don’t pan out the way we thought.
Are we naïve enough to believe that we can shape our future in our imagination and be successful without hard work? I would like to say no, but my personal actions prove otherwise. There is so much I want to accomplish and do for myself but I continue to make excuses, ultimately holding myself back. I find my peers growing and developing gracefully into their own, despite the challenges they have and will continue to face. But it’s obvious to me that they chose one path while I chose another (I’m not even sure if the path I’m on is on planet Earth anymore). But I watch them, and while I am proud of each and every one of them, I am disappointed in myself. And I blame no one but myself, that’s why I’ve started making changes within myself. I look forward to the next day of every day that ends poorly. I wake up with a better attitude and a hopeful mindset. I am taking action, making many changes in my life. I find it sort of exciting, taking charge of my life. I just know that I have to be and do better, if not for me, for my son.