Sometimes when we are in the middle of having a pity party and feeling sorry for ourselves, the best thing to get us out of our funk is to remember that there are others having worse days than we are. We have to remind ourselves that we have so much to be grateful for.

That is exactly what happened to Heather Jones Hartmann when she was on her way to work the other day. She said she was feeling sorry for herself and her “imperfect life” when she saw something that woke her up.

A woman was walking on the other side of the road dragging “two ripped up suitcases that were almost as big as her and clearly heavy.”

Heather admits she didn’t stop at first, but she couldn’t get the woman out of her mind, so she turned around and went back to find her.

She learned that the woman’s name was Janice and she had been on the road for four days. After losing her job as a packer for a cosmetic company, she had left her home in New York and was heading to Baltimore where her aunt was going to get her a job as a cleaning lady.

In addition to all of that, Janice suffers from congestive heart failure and had spent the night at the hospital after lugging those heavy suitcases all day and running out of medicine.

Heather was speechless. Without hesitating, she took Janice to the library where she was going to meet someone who could get her closer to Baltimore. When they got there, Heather gave Janice all of the money in her wallet (she estimates about $32) and a huge hug.

What stuck with Heather the most from their interaction was how joyful and grateful Janice was despite her incredibly difficult circumstances.

“She smiled the entire trip and thanked me profusely,” Heather said. “She never asked for anything. She wasn’t thumbing for a ride. She wasn’t feeling sorry for herself or for her situation in life.”

Talking to Janice that day reminded her of what’s important in life and to be grateful for all the blessings she has, even on the tough days.

“It was a huge reminder to be grateful for what I have because things could always be worse!” she said. “30 minutes late to work? I’ll take it! Janice did way more for me than I did for her.”

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