I was touched by this essay in the Globe and Mail. I imagined myself if the place of the man offering to rake leaves for food. I had my “There but for the grace of God, go I” moment. An excerpt:
The seasonal question, “Can I rake your leaves?” usually comes from young boys looking for pocket money. This time a middle-aged man stood at my door.
He had a wild black beard and shoulder-length hair that escaped his baseball cap, eclipsing his clean jeans and neat denim jacket. The clothes that hung off his too-thin frame suggested they too were expecting rejection.
I hesitated. Living across from a well-treed park meant more leaves than spare time, but I had no cash on hand.
“Ten bucks an hour,” he said. “I need money for groceries.” He had a rake in his hand and an earnest look in his dark, deep-set eyes.
It is important to not take anything for granted in life. In spite of any problems that I may have, I know that there are those who are much worse than me, and I have to be thankful for that.