The Smelly Man at Walmart: Living the Gift Humility

Because I no longer live in a world that provides me with a plentiful income, our primary retailer for groceries and goods is Walmart. A store I avoided when money was abundant, and our family budget was a guideline as opposed to a certainty. Something I once shared in common with our ruling class and politicians. Neither group concerned about money, particularly our federal government.

Shackling their constituents and their children and their grandchildren with an obscene and immoral amount of debt. Funding endless wars abroad while at home, the finances of working families are being ravaged by inflation. Both parties responsible for this monstrous mismanagement of money because their real constituents are the rich and powerful.

Paid pompous puppets in print and on-screen scolding and belittling anyone that questions the mainstream media narrative of the ruling class. Those who challenge this storyline of death and debt are derided as ignorant, stupid and deplorable. A regrettable past behavior of mine. Repulsed to walk in anyone else’s shoes, especially if those shoes came from Payless or Walmart.

Before I humbled my heart, my life was full of judgement of other people. Particularly people who didn’t go to college or broke a sweat for a living. Worse yet, if they hadn’t finished high school even if they know the difference between a man and a woman. A basic fact of biology and all of human history that seems to stump today’s college graduates.   

This disease of disdain to debase the working class has infected our ruling class. Politicians, institutions, mainstream media and even what remains of the church in America. Lecturing people who actually work for a living about their destructive carbon footprint and imminent climate destruction, while the rich and powerful build multimillion dollar beach front homes on islands or jet across the globe in private jets or power diesel fueled super yachts across the world’s oceans.

Even now, as I walk in the grace and mercy of God, I find myself in judgement of others. Disappointed with myself when I recognize it. Delighted that God has humbled my heart to help me recognize when I fall short of honoring my neighbor.

Like when I’m standing next to someone at Walmart who is dressed for outdoor work. His bright orange safety vest covering his brown dirty overalls. Muddied and scoffed tan work boots completing his labor day attire. 

Someone who builds the roads that connect us to our community or lays cable that allows us to communicate with our world. Someone smelling like sweat and dirt after working all day outdoors in the Vegas sun and heat. Someone I judged as I turned my nose up both physically and metaphorically, while standing near each other in the condiment aisle.

Someone whose hard labor I depend on to live a very pampered life of modern convenience. Someone whose occupation would probably kill me. Someone who is a child of God like me and you.

Spiritually awake I try to be respectful of all people, especially those who labor in challenging situations. Breaking a sweat every time they go to work. Perspiring when taking care of people who are unable to take care of themselves.

Humility is always a gift, but only if you recognize it, embrace it and live it. Recognizing that everyone is my neighbor, and everyone is our neighbor. Irrespective of the work they perform, the odor they secrete or where their shoes were purchased.