You, Sir, Are My Better.

Julius’ birthday is coming up and so it is my duty to get a party organized, I’m not complaining.  I received a list of guests that Julius would like to be at his birthday party, I entered all of the data into Evite, not noticing his friend Jason was on the list.  It wasn’t until Jason RSVP’d “I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” that I realized he was invited.

Crap.  I didn’t want Jason there.  There’s nothing wrong with Jason, he’s a perfectly lovely individual.  Smart too, a doctor.  I’ve enjoyed hanging out with him the two times that I have.  Oh, did I mention that Jason is Julius’ ex?  It creates a world of difference to me, though it shouldn’t; Jason is just a regular humanbeing.  However, I somehow got it into my head that he’s better than me.  I don’t like that feeling, coming face to face with someone who you believe to be better than you.  It’s actually what I’ve been experiencing ever since I met him.  It’s an awful feeling that you’re seated next to someone who is so much better than you…or is it?  Up until 40 minutes ago I thought it was.

40 minutes ago I was on the train, coming home after a rather uneventful and most forgettable day at work.  There was a disheveled, rank, homeless man next to me.  He babbled something to me about cell phones being able to track you and the Government.  I immediately tuned out and though “this is why people don’t like taking mass transit in Houston, the damned homeless are on it.  At least in New Jersey NJTransit is usually too expensive for the homeless to climb on during rush hour.”

I tried to ignore him, realizing every time I did that, that I was treating this equal humanbeing next to me as something less than me, and then I felt it.  I felt that horrible feeling in the pit of my body, the same one I feel when I think about or am around Jason.  I was actually dumbfounded.  I didn’t feel like this guy was better than me, in fact I was feeling like and acting like I was better than him.  Ouch, I’m a jerk. Then I saw the man across from me reach into his bag and pull out a banana and hand it to the homeless man next to me.

I knew at that moment that, that man giving him the food was my better – by far.  He looked this man in the eyes, treated him as an equal and without pause gave him food.  But more than that, he gave him recognition, recognition that he was human and worthy of caring, as we all are.  Seeing this gentleman and recognizing that he was in fact better than I was at that moment actually made me feel good.  Here was someone doing the right thing, even if I didn’t.

Then it hit me.  I wasn’t anxious or afraid of this caring man.  I recognized he was better than me and yet my heart still spilled over with joy for him and being in his presence.  Therefore why should I ever be afraid or anxious about someone being better than I am?  To borrow a quote from Ogilvy, if we surround ourselves with people better than ourselves, soon we will be in a world of giants.

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3 Comments

  1. Hello and what is new?

  2. You do the right thing 99.9% of the time. You don’t realize you do good things because they come natural to you.

  3. We all have our prejudice moments sometimes…we can’t all be Mother Theresa or Jesus! I heard a quote that sums up what you’re saying…and I’m paraphrasing…”Never look down on someone unless you’re bending over to lift them up.” or something like that…it’s a good thought for the day…and one we could all use a little work on.


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