“Why doesn’t a clam give money to charity?” Joe said as he stepped up and through the doorway of a small convenience store.
“Because he’s broke?” asked Jimmy, his long time friend that happened to be holding open the heavy glass door.
“No, because a clam’s a shellfish and they don’t use money.” He trumpeted with a sly smile like he had just read his name on the front page of the USA Today.
They had been walking for sometime and the patron saint of hunger was ringing her bell. They moved through the store using their eyes to tease their tastebuds with the rows of Reeses peanut butter cups, Doritos, and chocolate filled doughnuts that seemed as plentiful as the stars in the sky.
But, something was very different about these two men. Despite both of them having a great job and making almost the same income and despite the gnawing hunger they had found themselves trying to cure, these men walked separate paths.
Joe grabbed a basket and filled it with the things he wanted. A ice-cold coke classic in a glass bottle, a pair of those chocolate cakes with the icing that guarantee’s you’ll blow off the gym and waddle through the summer another year, a jumbo bag of hot fries, and tandem hot dogs covered and infused with ingredients no one could pronounce. Down almost fifteen dollars, Joe walked out of the store the way he came in.
But his friend, Jimmy, was staring into the glass case of cokes with the focus of Chris Kyle. As the world moved around him, he began to think about his son. His eyes drifted into a blurry image and his consciousness moved inside him.
He had seen the basket that Joe carried. His stomach wanted to fill the same basket with twice as much; but, as I said, Jimmy was different. As Jimmy stood there he began to see the smile on his son’s face as he sat atop the camel in Egypt on the tour of the pyramids. In his micro sabbatical he could feel his daughters love as he whispered that he would happily pay for the wedding. He could see the house that he always wanted to build with his wife in it’s completion and the grandkids that they didn’t even have coming to visit for the best Christmas dinner of his life. In this life he was Jimmy the benefactor. He was the man that made it happen. The man that carved his own legend instead of drifting.
You see, Jimmy could see the future and while he was there he forgot about all the hunger and the desire for the basket full of treats. Instead he could only see his children and when he came back from this tiny holiday he remembered his budget for the month, and reached for the bottled water and a cliff bar.
Five blocks down the street they were both feeling better. Full now and their minds far from food, Joe began a story from another time. The ironic thing is at that moment, they were in a story. A story about how small decisions impact your legacy. A story about how sticking to your budget and deciding with your mind instead of your gut will give you a lot more of the things you really want in life. Things that matter.
When you make your choices, are you thinking about what you really want in life? What story are you telling yourself when you’re standing there in the store? If it’s not the one that’s going to get you the things that really matter in life, I suggest you change it.