Thursday 16 March 2017

#Five and #alive

*Five And Alive*

I grew up very poor and with a single mom in the throws of addiction. Often there was no money for food, and I was hungry a lot.

On my fifth birthday (1986), a couple close family members were invited to go to a park to celebrate my birthday. No cake, no presents, not a problem. Except for my auntie. She had an envelope in her hand.

Before everyone sang happy birthday, I saw a little boy, probably my age, and a woman, digging in the park dumpster for food. Something happened to me. I begged my mom to invite them to my party but my mother was not a fan of strangers. She said no.

I was intrigued, I didn't know others struggled like me, it hurt my heart. I watched them as everyone sang. I watched them when my auntie handed me an envelope. I watched them as I opened it until I saw the contents, a crisp 100 dollar bill. My mother was enraged that my auntie would give me such a large amount of money. I think my auntie trusted me more than my mother with cash.

We were poor, I didn't eat 3 days a week, I had a very hard childhood. But I had never dug in a dumpster for food. The struggle, the suffering, I had never seen anyone else struggle. It just wasn't right if it could be prevented.

My auntie kept talking to my mother, telling me, I can do ANYTHING I want with that money. So I did. I walked to the dumpster to the boy and his mother. I explained to the boy that it was my birthday and my one present was a $100, and I wanted to give it to them. There were so many tears and thank yous.

I and my auntie understood how powerful it was to give the only money I've ever seen away.

*Debriefing of this Story*

We always feel that our life is hard and it is so unfair to us. But when you actually go out and meet poor people, you will realize that how many good things you have taken for granted.

Start helping others in any small way possible, will not reduce your problems but will surely give you more strength to withstand it.