From the archives: This story was last updated in February 2019.
Like many of us, this nurse was also hooked onto collecting more material possessions. But one day, she was emotionally shaken when she opened her client’s fridge. Deeply saddened by what she saw, she came to the realization that she should start appreciating what she has instead of being dissatisfied with her life.
Amanda Perez, a home nurse from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, shared about her client’s plight that tugged at her heartstrings.
As a home nurse, Perez visits homes to take care of people with all kinds of conditions. During one such visit at an elderly man’s home, she was asked to clean the fridge—but when she opened the fridge, she was shocked.
There was almost nothing in the refrigerator! Seeing the nearly empty fridge, she turned to the elderly man to ask who buys him food. The old man looked down, as if ashamed, and said, “I buy food when I have the money.”
“I cried. I have never seen a fridge so empty in my life,” Perez wrote in her Facebook post.
I have never felt so ungrateful in my life then I did today.. Someone once told me, it doesn't matter what you have now…
The sight of the almost empty fridge hit her really hard, and she never “felt so ungrateful” than she did that day. Lately, Perez had been upset over material pursuits; she wanted more material possessions, like a new car, a house, more clothes, and more shoes.
“Someone once told me, it doesn’t matter what you have now because as a human you’ll always have the mindset that it’s not enough and you need or want more,” she wrote. “All of a sudden I realized how my needs are wants and his wants are needs.”
Perez cleaned the fridge then left when her shift was over. However, she knew she couldn’t go home without helping the elderly man. So, even though she wasn’t earning a good salary, she drove to the grocery store to buy the old man a trolley full of food—using her own tax return.
She later returned to the elderly man’s house to fill his fridge. Perez said she didn’t write the post “to be noticed.” But rather, she hopes that through this story, people will learn to be more appreciative of what they already have because “there are so many people out there that have it worse than we do.”
“I opened my eyes and realized I need to stop being so mad about what I don’t have and start appreciating what I do have,” she wrote.
Well said, Perez! Thanks for showing us that “the depth of your abundance depends on the depth of your gratitude.”