Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mr. Martin's Marbles

There’s a Mr. Martin in every neighborhood. You know: the old man or old lady who’s alone and once they catch anyone’s ear, the stories begin. In this case, Mr. Martin is almost 90 years young, whose wife died a few years ago, and who can remember every last detail of his childhood, challenges and choices in life. He’s from the “what’s the world coming to?” era and can remember times when there were no coins to rub together; not just being poor, but destitute. The Depression did that. There were lessons to learn and along the way, basic needs to be met, destitute or not.

One recent story I heard from Mr. Martin revolved around one of his favorite childhood games: marbles.

He could still remember the one and only time he actually had to punch somebody. There was another kid—a bully—who was stealing the other kids’ marbles. And one day, it was Mr. Martin’s marbles he was after. As one who generally prefers to avoid conflict, the young Mr. Martin startled the bully and himself by punching him in the nose to get his marbles back. The kid dropped all the marbles, including his own. Mr. Martin picked up his marbles and left.

The clincher? Mr. Martin said he wondered if that kid ever went back to get his own marbles again. Mr. Martin picked up his own marbles after the fight and left the rest—the marbles that belonged to the bully—in that very same spot.

What started as a lesson in dealing with bullies ended as a lesson for me to see yet another side of Mr. Martin—the one with integrity. Honesty and integrity are not just skills, they are character traits.

I’m so glad Mr. Martin still has his marbles.
Tip of the week:
We all need each other to help us in our health and weight loss efforts. When the going gets tough, call a friend! The distraction and the delay may be helpful in avoiding a potential binge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you so much.