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Saturday, November 04, 2006

The other shoe

Two situations came together today. One in David Rothacker's posting. The other partially captured in my comment on his posting about what occurred at the food store today.

Coincidently, I had a related situation today. I was out doing the weekly grocery shopping. One of the aisles was blocked by a man in a wheelchair looking up at the top shelves and another carriage where the person was turned and doing their thing further down the aisle. I stand over six foot tall so offered to help him reach, in the wheelchair clearly did not have a chance. He wanted the store brand bran cereal so I reached for it. As I did so, he asked how much it was. It was $3.19. Oh, sorry he said, put it back. I need something for $2.00. Trying not to react, I put it back and then scanned the shelves to see other bran cereal options, they were limited and not less than $2.00. He thanked me for taking the time and said he would make another choice. I went on my way but the moment has stuck with me. One, for all the items on the shelf out of his reach. Two, for the tightness of his budget.

To further elaborate:

To walk in another's shoe, what an eye opening experience it would be. As tall as I stand I am a walking step ladder. I help quite a few folks with my reach, especially at the store. I don't hesitate to reach for something they are having trouble with. I take for granted the reach I have but it is so important. How can we adjust to a world with a smaller reach?

On the budget, we are fortunate to have progressed the way we have. Dolores and I did watch our budget closely in our early years. With our two daughters in college now, the idea of a budget is coming back more in focus. We were never extravagant but now we will return to being more mindful of what we spend. It won't be hard. In my youthful days, I lived from my paper route collection profit from one week to the next. Always putting some aside to pay for school and then what was left could be the "spending money" for candy, or a paperback book, or saving for the next album (or 45). (Yes, those were the days.)

Every once in awhile, it is good to stop and think. What is like to walk (really live) in another's shoe?
What would you change if you did? if you could?
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