Be Grateful You Can Pout

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At some point during your childhood I bet someone told you to quit pouting, or quit feeling sorry for yourself. Well for most of my life I made feeling sorry for myself, especially those first several years on the streets, an art form.

Pout, feel sorry for myself; get others to feel sorry for me, was how I made my living. I was too proud to beg, but I was not too proud to show up in a crowded area, looking grungy and dirty with a dour, pouty look on my face; like I had it worse than any other human in the world. Then I would accept any food or a little of the money that would come my way.


I was a lying, manipulator. I remember one time early on I had an opportunity to get a change of fresh clothes; I passed. I thought if I looked clean, maybe no one would know how rough I was having it and then they wouldn’t feel sorry for me, and bring me stuff.

Looking back and maybe through a little kinder lens at myself. I was really pretty lonely in the south I did not even hang out with other homeless people at that time.  As a homeless loner, it is difficult to just sort of start conversations in a coffee house or on the street. That is probably why I hung out in high human traffic areas at times.

My life now, is brilliant, so to speak. Lots of good things are happening but I notice I still have a habit of feeling sorry for myself, although it is naturally somewhat reduced. It has been a habit I have had long before I was on the streets. The other day I was trying to figure out, how such a bad habit gets started anyway.

You look at a kid and the reason they pout, I believe, is because they did not get their way, or things are not going as they planned in their minds. The pout is  a tool to try and change that, to get what you want, to make things go your way.

It also may be a strange way of getting a little affection coming your way. Our society is funny in some ways. Some of us always cheer for the winners, and some of us are always for the underdogs. I noticed early on that when I was doing good at stuff, people were kind to me, but emotionally distant. However, if I screwed up, came in last, stubbed my toe; oh man people were friendly and as affectionate as could be.

I noticed a lot of people who need affection, will catch a cold for a while or get sick in some way, just to get someone to nurture them. Human beings need nurturing and love when things are going well and going bad, and in my mind our culture is thin on nurturing each other during the good times. That is why I loved being on the streets, in Portland there were rarely any what you would call good times financially, but there was lots of affection to be had.


I imagine there are many other reasons people pout, lots of them. However, there is only one cure; it is called gratitude. You are grateful for whatever comes your way, be it a full pack of American Spirits, or a half a Merit Ultra Light someone else has smoked, you are going to create all sorts of good feelings in your heart and more than likely God is going to add to your blessings.

You pout about the Merit and well all your going to get is to feel sorry for yourself. Oh you might want to start doling out some affection, even to people who don’t even act like they need it, I bet you will startle them.


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