I was 22 years old. My little friend of eight or so years was hungry and without many clothes. For a dollar and some change, I fed him. For a few more dollars I put clothes on his back and , perhaps, the first shoes on his feet he had ever felt. As I went through the gate, looking back at him as he waved and cried for me to take him with me, I aged ten years in maturity. That little boy in Angelese City in the Philippines has haunted my mind for the past twenty six years.
I walk the streets today, as a much older and wiser person, still feeling young and holding high expectations of my future, and each time I pass a restaurant, or fast food place, and see the food still on the trays as people leave, I think back to my little friend who would now be in his thirties. I am 48 and I must confess that I have not left food on my plate in as many years as I can remember, back to my little friend. I take nothing for granted. In each thing I do, and in each thing I accomplish, and...yes...in each meal I eat, I am thankful. I will not put food into a garbage can. I cannot to it. I won't allow myself to be so disrespectful. Millions of people throughout the far east, Kenya, the Congo, and so on are starving. We don't see it, so in our minds it doesn't exist. Having been a part of it, and having seen it up close and personal, I will not waste that which so many take for granted.
When you awaken in the morning and see the celing above you, be thankful. When you head out for the day in your car, be thankful. When you go to work and know a paycheck is coming, be thankful. When your child is healthy and in no need of medical care, give thanks and appreciate what you have. And finally, tonight, when you go to sleep, close your eyes and know, that on this day, you wasted nothing!