I had an experience this month that made me especially thankful. I was speaking in Albany, New York, and was then scheduled to fly to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for another appearance. Due to weather, my flight to Minneapolis was cancelled and I started to panic. I began trying to book a different flight so I could make it to my next appearance in Minneapolis, but to the snowstorm moving in, it was nearly impossible. I finally found a flight into Chicago, but then would have to rent a car and drive from Chicago to Minneapolis – in the middle of a blizzard. Just then, the event planner in Minneapolis called and said the event was cancelled due to weather. I breathed a sigh of relief. But my flight to Chicago was already booked and I couldn’t change it. So I flew into Chicago, picked up my bag, and started calling to find a hotel room. After calling more than two dozen hotels that were all fully booked, I decided to just sleep in the airport.
I grabbed some food, found a quiet spot, and settled in for the night. Around 1:00 in the morning, a man walked past me and then stopped. He asked if anyone was sitting beside me and wanted to know if he could sit with me. I nodded my head and pretended I was busy on my computer. He sat down, started digging around in his backpack, and pulled out a granola bar and began to eat. I noticed he was shaking and seemed somewhat distracted, but I continued to mind my own business.
About an hour later a security guard walked up to us and started asking us if we had a flight. I explained my situation to him about my flight being cancelled and not being able to find a hotel room. The gentleman beside me didn’t say a word. The security guard explained that if we didn’t have a flight, we needed to leave, and then walked away. The gentlemen looked at me and said, “I have no place to go”. My heart sank. He told me he has no home, no family, no friends and is all alone. I didn’t know what to say. I walked away with a heavy heart, thinking about what life would be like without those things I hold so close to my heart like family, friends, and
The experience made me realize that I need to thankful for everything that I have. We need to put life in perspective and be thankful for the little things that we take for granted. So next time you complain about not having something, take a look around and look at what you DO have. Thankfulness starts with the little things. Take a moment today to be thankful for everything you have!