Lessons from a bell ringer


Due to the Economic down turn (I’m so tired of that phrase) I was looking for a way to make a quick couple of bucks.Something not too offensive something where I could be on my own not take too much crap from others avoid back biting , I think Ive had one too many we are team players type of jobs. Anyway I found my self applying for a position for the Salvation Army to stand in the cold and ring there bell for change. Going into it I didn’t have any particular expectations except maybe having something to do over the holidays beside looking for work and maybe make a couple of nickles to rub together. Little did I know it would be chalk full of meaning for  me in regards to how I see the world ie humanity and how I see myself interacting with others and an incredible opportunity to stand in one place get paid and people watch. First thing that surprised me was teenagers Ive always seen them as a bit of an unapproachable enigma . All of a sudden teenagers where smiling at me donating to the red kettle cheerfully being kind to others I was truly amazed. Actually I was truly amazed at how much kindness is all around .My cynical thoughts of people don’t care and we are in trouble was changed with Hope that in most people  they are kind and when given the opportunity they actually step up to the plate . I saw so much kindness in my observations of humanity that I think it actually healed my Heart a bit. Lots of Grandparents with their grand kids, I noticed the most constant givers the poor often giving me there last coin or dollar, the very old and the very sick . Actually I noticed the people in wheelchairs the ones who had  a heck of a time where actually really nice to me with up beat chit chat. The very old were also very kind to me giving me a moment of conversation which I was often grateful for standing in one place for 6 hours at a time cold is a challenge. People often worried that I was warm enough often giving me tips about how to dress warm and where to stand . I found that very sweet and enduring. Also people in general love to give especially if they feel  its a good cause. That was nice to see little kids where funny sometimes as the parent gave them a buck to stuff in the kettle they would give that look like now why am I doing this and where does the candy come out .   A lot of people thought I was donating my time as a volunteer which a lot of the bell ringers are volunteers They would often thank me of my selfless giving of time which after a while I thought gee I’ll have to volunteer for something sometime it feels good I made a note to self maybe the SPCA to visit the Kitty’s and puppy’s that have no home . Anyway those are some of the things I learned bell ringing it was one of those job that you expect nothing and walk a way life changed looking at the world in a whole new way who new what a pleasant surprise. So here I sit unemployed again thinking  where do I start the competition is ridiculously fierce . sigh maybe I’ll put off the job search until tomorrow I mean hey whos going to be hiring on New Years . Happy New Year lets hope 09 is well I don’t even know what to hope for maybe the idea no expectaions and maybe I could be plesantly surprised . Lets try that .


One response »

  1. I am not making this up, but about a year ago, I actually inquired about a position at a Salvation Army. The needed no help. It does seem like teenagers “nowadays” are a little intimidating. It seems to be perceived that way in the media to me at least. ANd then, at second glance you see they just want to be themselves and in fact are the ones that are intimidated. Sure, they may seem as if they are growing up faster, but HELLO. Times have changed people. (That was not in any way directed at you Starla) It doesn’t make them bad. In fact, I’ll betcha they even feel uncomfortable at times, growing up so quickly. You shouldn’t feel cynical. I may be a little cynical at times myself, actually… i guess there is a lot of “good people’ in the world, but the bad ones just make it so hard to enjoy it. It sounds so cliche, but the negative is always what stands out it seems. I feel like when I do run into a stranger that is nice, it’s a surprise. Like a numbers game. Well, i did run into my share of rude people, it must be time for a nice one. DEar Lord!!! Why are some people so mean???!!!

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