Tears and Laughter: Resolution – Be more like the lunch lady

I have always looked at the New Year as being like a blank page.  Like a fresh start or a new chapter, a chance to steer life more our way.

That is freedom I suppose, being able to customize your life to suit yourself based upon who you are. Raw freedom. A lot of people have no idea what to do with it. We can tailor life to fit us, if we are willing to wage that campaign, but is easier at times to let the chips fall as they will and call it fate than to make resolutions to change.

Even if the resolutions don’t last past the third week in January it is good to have them. It is an opportunity to shape ourselves up or ship out an old habit.

I quit eating candy one year. Not chocolate, but candy.

Other years I have simplified and became more organized, lost weight, toned-up, calmed down, and attempted to save money.

Then I started trying to eat healthier one year, began traveling a little more, developed a more grateful attitude and tried to be more positive.

Another year I decided I didn’t give a damn. If I could just make it to the next one, that would be good enough. That year went so well, I did it again the next. Last year I decided it was time to start having more fun, and this year…I just don’t know.

My generation was one of the first to be given the “everyone has a purpose” philosophy. We were taught that our purpose is the reason for our being and we can always align ourselves with this purpose – which can and will change over the course of life – by knowing our strengths and weaknesses, our talents and gifts, and by knowing what attracts us and what repels us.

We were encouraged and directed through various personality tests and career planning exercises to help us authentically know our core selves as a way to help better plan what we want out of life.

And I can’t say I have ever really doubted it. It is a fairly efficient way of leading a balanced and productive life. But somewhere over the blur of Christmas, I wasn’t even watching it. I wasn’t particularly listening or paying attention. It was just on as I passed through a room, and it keeps playing in my mind.

A lunch lady in Idaho named Delane Bowden gave a free lunch to a student who didn’t have enough money. For this offense, she was fired. And as the news spread she was asked her feeling on the matter and she said she knew from the start that she would probably get into some form of trouble, but that she never thought she would be fired over it.

When pushed further, she said even if she had known she would be fired, that she would have done it anyway because it was the right thing to do. She wouldn’t let any kid go hungry.

The Pocatello/Chubbuck School District has officially offered her back her job. I haven’t heard whether or not she accepted it.

I don’t know if what she had in giving a hungry student a lunch was guts, or strength, simple integrity, courage, or character…but whatever that is, whatever makes a person do what they know needs to be done without questioning, that is a resolution worth making.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Alabama Watchman, Al.com, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era. For more information, visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.