The Hand that Feeds You?

When I was a kid, I really didn’t know what “poor” meant. I didn’t fully understand what it meant to have so little you had to ask for help from others. Surely, there are those who have less and knowing that only shows you how much farther “rock bottom” actually is. As a kid, I remember the feeling I first noticed when someone else had something that I couldn’t have, it wasn’t fair and it became difficult to justify why other people had nice things and a big house and all that while we lived in this trailer in some park hidden outside of town. I also remember how it felt when someone gave us something, it was as if we owed them something for their kindness. There was always some “I” attached to the conditions when someone helped “us”. At times, there was a reminder of how someone took time out of their busy lives to help poor little us. They broke away from all their responsibilities and all their fancy nice things to get closer to the dirt and give us some helping hand. For weeks, months, and sometimes even years there would be some reminder that we should be thankful because they helped us. We should be grateful. We should be respectful. We should always remember that they helped us because they were not poor. Continue reading

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Empowerment

My father had once told me this story about my youth. He explained to me that I had once climbed up the shelves of the refrigerator to stand on the counter in order to reach the cookies that he had hidden above the refrigerator. Then he laughed and said that for some reason I took the eggs and put them in the butter compartment on the door and when he opened it they fell to the floor. I found humor in this as he told this story during his final days; I had been an adult for many years at this point and this lost event in my life created a smile and time for us to bond further before his days ended. I am quite certain that when this happened he found little humor in it at all, I may have been better off leaving the eggs alone. I don’t remember this event and I haven’t been able to recall what was going through my mind at the time. Nevertheless, I am certain I got more than my share of cookies out of it, and probably a few moments bent over a knee. Continue reading