Amanda Mary Perez works as a home nurse/personal care aide—a chronically overworked and often underappreciated job, but one where she meets and cares for people in all situations.
She had just been feeling caught up in wanting more material possessions out of life—a new car and house, more clothes, more shoes—and it was really stressing her out. The more she wanted, the more unhappy she was. But in the midst of that, she met someone who reminded her what was really important.
During one of her home visits, an elderly man asked if she could help clean his fridge.
“I opened it and this is what I saw…” she wrote on Facebook.
Perez immediately turned around and asked the man who buys food for him.
“He pointed at himself and looked down as if he was ashamed.” Then he said, “I buy food when I have the money.”
Perez started crying. “I have never seen a fridge so empty in my life,” she shared on Facebook. “All of a sudden I realized how my needs are wants and his wants are needs.”
She was hit hard by this realization.
“I have never felt so ungrateful in my life than I did today,” Perez wrote. “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.”
After her shift ended, Perez got in her car. She decided couldn’t let this poor man feel ashamed that he couldn’t afford basic necessities.
“I knew I COULD NOT GO HOME knowing all this,” she wrote.
Instead of driving home, she drove down to the grocery store, filled a cart up with food, and went back to his house.
She didn’t have food stamps or extra money lying around, so she used her income tax money “to fill his fridge as much as I could.”
Emotionally shaken by this encounter, Perez took to Facebook to share what had happened.
“This is a post to show you that there are so many people out there that have it worse than we do,” she wrote. “I opened my eyes and realized I needed to stop being so mad about what I don’t have and start appreciating what I do have.”