My family resides in a small town nestled between two larger towns … and we are so blessed to work and play in Lewisville, North Carolina. Today while on lunch break, my husband and I stopped at a convenience store in town to get him some cigarettes. Yes I said the word—cigarettes—not my choice but hey for those who start their day with coffee and a smoke; I say party on-they are not illegal yet! America—she is still beautiful and possibly even more important, she is the land of the free, which I think includes a multitude of thoughts and ideas and dreams, and yes, the right to personal choice.
Anyway, while my husband ran inside, I looked around. I saw the lady in the vehicle on one side of me, waiting for her husband to pump gas. She briefly caught my eye and I quickly smiled at her, and then lost eye contact just as fast. I then noticed the lady in the white car to my right. An older lady all alone … I wondered where her family was and if she still worked at public job or had slipped unnoticed and quietly into retirement … and what her quality of life was. For some reason, when I see an older person alone it makes me wonder about their life, and what experiences all those visible lines in her face represented.
Then I saw the American dream team coming out of the store. In front was a man who may have been about forty years old, appeared to be of Mexican descent, carrying his small cooler, his Coke, and some chips. Instantly I noticed the big smile on his face. He had on a cap with his sunglasses on top; obviously he has paid attention to the way the American guys do it. Most of all, I still remember the smile. Following directly behind him was a man, maybe early thirties, blonde wind-blown hair, also carrying his lunch. He wore a tee shirt advertising a lawn care business. As I watched them walk to the curb in the parking lot and sit down to enjoy lunch, smiling and talking among themselves, I thought to myself that I have just experienced a true picture of the American dream. The real dream. Each man needs something from the other. One man may work for the other, happy to have employment to help support his family. He is also happy to work with someone whose company he obviously enjoys. His face told a story of true contentment at that moment in time; something we all struggle to find, and sometimes never do.
The blonde man smiled as he listened as his coworker communicated with his hands and broken English, laughing and smiling on a beautiful sunny day. He knows that in this person he may have found the perfect employee; someone he can confide in, and enjoy lunch with. I feel sure that he also enjoys the work efforts of his friend and co-worker as well. Each one needing something from the other, from different worlds, quietly painting the perfect picture of the American dream.
I smiled to myself as my husband came back to the car with his purchase in hand, knowing that the world can work together in harmony, if we only just try … and apply some gratitude, a good attitude, excellent communication, a Coke, and a smile!
This simple observation just further supports the fact that we all need each other, and that a positive attitude can really take you anywhere you want to go in life. Perhaps if we slow down long enough to see what is going on around us, we too can appreciate our fellow man for what he brings to our quality of life. Since this day back in early spring, I have seen the American dream team in action, in the same spot, doing the same thing, never once realizing the powerful message they send to observant onlookers such as myself, and the positive impact they had on me that day.