This might seem odd but I have been practicing a year in gratitude through the use of photography. I take an image a day of something I am grateful for. So when I met this man today who helped me I included him in my project.
I try to give blood every 8 weeks and today was my day. Afterwards, I always go for the pack of Oreos as my recovery snack. I do love Oreos. Anyway, today there was an older gentleman who was mentally challenged, helping in that area of the blood center. As I approached the table of snacks he asked if I wanted a drink. "Yes, I would love a cranberry juice please." He smiled, so happy to help, and said, "Do you want two?" I said no thank you and then said, "but I would love a pack of Oreos." And so he found a pack for me even though I could have very well gotten it for myself. I could tell he enjoyed his work helping others. I asked him if he was a volunteer for the day and he said he came every week for two hours. His aid sat next to him and listened to him as he spoke with me. When I finished my cookies and juice I asked him if I could take his photo? He had that confused look on his face that most people get when I first ask this question so I explained my project. He happily agreed afterwards. I asked his aid to be in the photo too. She most likely loves her work but does not get paid much and man do I have gratitude for people like that.
What I love about taking the photo of these two people is that I won't forget them now. I will look at that photo and it will remind me of the good in the world. We so often remember the bad before the good and this helps bring the good more to the forefront of my thinking.
So even though giving blood is not my favorite thing, it's not bad. When I meet people like "Frank" it makes it a little bit better. Here's to all the volunteers in the world who give their time to others. And donate blood. Many need that too.
If you want to practice your own year of gratitude, please join me at amindfulphotographer.com. Happy Photographing.