The other day, I ran into a local discount supermarket to buy a gallon of fat-free milk that was on sale for two bucks (yes, two bucks). Walking in a few yards ahead of me was a trio of black women: a not quite heavy set older lady in a moo-moo dress who had a pronounced limp; a younger woman in slacks; and a little girl in pigtails who I just assumed was the younger woman’s daughter.
It wasn’t until I got to the check-out line with the trio again just ahead of me that I realized that the younger woman who I thought the mommy was actually profoundly retarded (I know, that’s not the politically correct term – so sue me), and that the older lady was probably the mother of both her and the little girl. Mom kept scolding her daughter with the stupid grin for babbling on to the cashier whose hand she held for a second, remarking how “pretty” it was. The cashier mercifully took it all in stride as I, usually the cold-hearted cynic, thought to myself, “but for the grace of God go I.” Whatever the cause of the poor woman’s plight – the victim of bad genes or a crack pregnancy or an blow on the head, her fate, her life had all been decided by a roll of the dice.
Later that night as I strolled into my favorite bear bar, I noticed an untypically huge circle of guys hovering around the pool table. Once I was able to inch my way through the maddening crowd, I saw instantly what , or I should say, who the fuss was all about. There, under the bright lights playing pool with one of the bar regulars was this six foot six, well proportioned, lightly muscular thirty something #14 with a thick head of black hair and beard to match, his washed-out white T-shirt with the saying, “Just Do It” emblazed across his pecs and his ordinary jeans – though not ordinary on him – loosely hugging his waist. He was a cross between a Hollywood agent’s wet dream and a porn producer’s cash cow. It was almost as if he were the Pope of Gaydom that night, holding audience with his very horny subjects. Either he was the warm personal type or that beautiful butt and crotch had gotten around because every other guy who smiled or chatted with him like some prom night sweetheart was rewarded with a warm hug.
With that near perfect body that didn’t look gym bought or steroid-fueled and that super face that would put plastic surgeons out of business, he looked like it had all just come his way – good genes, maybe some good cleaning living, or maybe not, but definitely, the product of a roll of the dice.
I wonder how many of us who have everything or anything to offer the world realize how much we owe to luck and appreciate our good fortune.
Instead of acting like we deserve it.