Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Rag Picker

Submitted by Jo Ann Warrington
I was on my lunch hour one day when I worked for Equifax Credit Bureau in Richardson, Texas and I decided to stop in at a Half Price book store close by. I was just browsing and I stopped at a rack that was selling Og Mandino books. I had never heard of him but I remember clearly that I was intrigued by the book that was on the rack. I picked one up and flipped through it and nothing was really catching my eye. It is a trilogy.  The title of the books included The Greatest Salesman in the World, The Greatest Secret in the World and The Greatest Miracle in the World.  I started to put it back on the rack when a thought came to me "you have got to buy this book." I looked through it again, although the titles seemed interesting, nothing inside interested me. So I started again to put it back and the same thought came to me again that "you have to buy this book." It was almost like my hand didn't want to let go of it. So I bought it. I figured any message coming across that strong had to be something to pay attention to. Since that time there has only been two or three times  I have had that kind of feeling about buying a book.

If you haven't read these books I want to mention a little about them to get to where I am going and what they have to do about a Rag Picker in the book The Greatest Miracle of the World. I have read a lot of books on inspiration but few tell you  how to get where you want to go. No matter whether it's being successful or what your goal is I haven't read many books that give you instructions on how to get there. You don't have to want to be a salesman to go by the principles. Maybe you want to be a better person or whatever, all you have to do is just change the goals and wording of the secrets. It is the method, not the same words as he is using. These 3 books tells you exactly what to do. It's not hard, anybody can do it.  But only the persistent will do it. These books may be out of print but I checked with Amazon and they have them. 

In his books Og Mandino  is a successful writer having used his "secrets" to success. He meets an unusual fellow named "Simon" in the book The Greatest Miracle in the World"  He befriends Simon (who in his seventies) and they enjoy each others company very much when they get together. On one of their visits Og asks Simon was does he do. Simon says he is a rag picker.

Wikipedia in part states this definition of a rag picker:

Rag-picker, or Chiffonnier, was a 19th- and early 20th-century term for someone who made a living by rummaging through refuse in the streets to collect material for salvage. Scraps of cloth and paper could be turned into cardboard, broken glass could be melted down and reused, and even dead cats and dogs could be skinned to make clothes. The rag-pickers did not recycle the materials themselves; they would simply collect whatever they could find and turn it over to a "master rag-picker" (usually a former rag-picker) who would, in turn, sell it—generally by weight—to wealthy investors with the means to convert the materials into something more profitable.[1][2]

If you read this book you will see Simon was not talking about being a rag picker on the streets. He was a rag picker of people. Those that felt they had been discarded, lonely,
hurt, alone, lost, poor and any others that come to mind. Some are not poor financially.
These groups of people come from all walks of life and Simon searched for them as he might search for something salvageable on the streets. I like the part in Wikipedia where it states whatever the rag picker collected they turned it over to a "master rag-picker." That is what
Simon was doing. Looking for the people that had been tossed aside or at least felt they had been forgotten and scattered in the trash. Then he turned them over to the Master.

The book I bought those many years ago came to mind the other day and I got it off the bookshelf and thumbed through it. A few days later I started thinking about the rag picker, Simon.  I thought we have a website, a way for me to reach our families and suggest to us all who are willing to become rag pickers. It's not hard, in fact everybody I can think of in our family or extended families would love to do it. All we need is awareness. Simon wore a rag about 1/2 inch to an inch penned to his shirt with a safety pin. I'm sure in real life  people would have asked him what was that about and he had an opportunity to tell them. Maybe he would have said something like it is a "reminder to me to be kind to the poor and the hurting."  In the book though, what Simon did was write out "A Memo from God." He made one hundred copies and distributed them to people he thought it could help. 

I know all of us are sick of the way things are in the world. We can't turn on the TV, read the newspaper or get on the internet that we don't see corruption, sadness, murders to the point we are saturated with it. 

Why don't we pin a little small piece of rag with a safety pin to our shirt, blouse or dress. You can pin it where people can't see if you like. It is just a reminder to us anyway to do something a little special sometimes. We are a kind group of people and I'm sure we reach out when we have the opportunity. But maybe we can find opportunity more often if we look. I know I could improve in that area.   Who knows, maybe we could get a lot of people involved too. Wouldn't it be great that where we went we saw people wearing a little rag safety pinned to their clothing?

1 comment:

  1. That is a great idea...You did need to buy the book even though you didn't know why ... God always has a purpose for nudging us in a certain direction and we can't ever go wrong when we listen and obey.I think this will be a blessing to many of us...we all need little reminders now and then to do something special for someone and it's especially neat when we can do something and the person on the receiving end doesn't have a clue who did it..