Using the word ‘poor’ is a weak choice, come to think of it. To some people, I’m poor. To others, I know not the boundaries of my wealth. So when I say ‘poor’, I mean relatively speaking what what.
Growing up, we were not poor. There were days that we couldn’t afford meat and we were involuntarily entered into the school of vegetarianism, but I was never hungry and we always had clothes and a roof over our heads.
But my mom grew up in a poor home. Her stories were heart-wrenching and if you have not seen the desperate stare of parents not knowing where their kids’ next meal will come from, you should count yourself as immensely fortunate.
While my mom was alive I often saw in her face that desperate gaze of money-worry. Not that we were ever in a desperate situation (I don’t think), but because the fear of moneylessness followed my mom like a dark shadow that would consume her and her loved-ones if she did not remain at her most vigilant.
My mom hated cold weather. Why she and my dad would then park themselves right in the coldest part of my country, I can’t tell you. Maybe the people liked a challenged, I don’t know. But every time she shivered, she would repeat her little motto: Brrrrr, I hate feeling cold. It makes me feel poor.
My mom died in a warm hospital room, surrounded by…me…and all the love I had to give. But she transplanted a little bit of that money-worry to me. Ah, come to think of it, we all have it, don’t we…?
What makes me feel poor is when people talk to me like I’m dumb. It takes me back to my school days in a fancy school for girls where the daughters of the town attorneys and doctors assumed I was inferiorly intelligent because we were not wealthy or influential. I guess I was bullied a little. It’s just that when someone talks to me that way, I react…shall we say…in hyperbole.
I freely admit that I carry that chip on my shoulder to this day. Maybe by blogging about it I’ll shake it off. LOL. SMH. YOLO. SOIDD. JWPEHD. DOEHDPPPSEUES.
Or whatever acronyms the young poeple use these days…
But when I really sit down and think of it, I feel so ashamed. Who cares if someone talks to me like I’m dumb? Who cares the ridiculous associations I attach to it? It all shrinks to nothingness in the face of reality…that there are so many people in our world who really are desperately concerned for their children’s next meal, their safety and their future. I have been blessed beyond what I deserve…
My vow to you today is this: I will get over myself. I will remind myself daily of my privileges. And I will apply gratitude in such overwhelming quantities that my poop will change color like I had a beetroot-heavy meal.
And right now I’m grateful for chococino…