Unlikely Inspiration

“Desire for material things is endless; man is never satisfied completely, and pursues one goal after another. Outward longings drive us from the Eden within.” – Yogananda

He’s always a delight to serve…someone I look forward to seeing. The brightest, most genuine smile I have seen in a while. My favourite customer.

He pulls up to the store on his bike, rain or shine. He buys a modest amount of food – organic sweet potatoes and organic oranges, and occasionally (lately), organic black grapes. “I can’t have those too often,” he explains, “They’re just so sweet, and I can’t help but eat them all at once!” He offers me his toothy, sparkling grin. I give him a senior’s discount, wishing I could give him more than a measly 5% off.

He never wants a bag, but carefully shuffles his nourishing food into his nap-sack. He always wants a receipt. “When you’re homeless like me, if the cops give you a hard time, you need to prove that you haven’t stolen anything.” Fair point. I never thought of that.

He is homeless – not “living-in-a-vanagon-kind-of-homeless,” but the real deal. Harassed by cops or not, he always seems to be in the most pleasantly, optimistic mood. How does he do it? Where does his joy come from? What does he do all day? What does he value? Who does he love – who loves him?

I feel like I barely know this man (and I’ve just realized that I don’t even know his name!), but his energy speaks volumes. He loves life. He values himself. He treats others with respect – even people who are often disrespected in the service industry. He doesn’t think of himself as more highly than others, but I get a sense that he doesn’t see himself as lower.

He may have little, but he is so very rich in things that matter.

My inspiration. My teacher.

My favourite customer.


3 thoughts on “Unlikely Inspiration”