August 9, 2011

When Little Things Become BIG Things (Day 18 - August 9, 2011)

Okay . . . so today I had some good fortune and some misfortune . . . both little things to most people, but they were pretty big for me.

The Culprits
Let's start with the misfortune.  I woke up this morning to notice that one of the little nose pads on my glasses was missing.  No big deal, I agree.  However, I need to wear my glasses all the time, and the tiny metal thingamajig that holds the nose pad kept pressing into my nose.  Still, no big deal . . . I'll just walk down to the optometrist and get a replacement pad.  Besides, my recollection is that they are only about $0.50 each (. . . and I think they even did it for free one time).  So I walked into the eye doctor's office, told the nice lady behind the desk what I needed, and she responded it would be no problem and took my glasses.  She commented in passing that the other one looked like it was due to be replaced, too.  Still no problem . . . so it will be $1.00 . . . more than I originally expected but still okay.   A few minutes later, the nice lady returned with my glasses looking all spiffy and polished, and then she spoke vile and venomous words that literally burned a hole in my all too empty pocket. "That will be $5.00 please."   FIVE DOLLARS!!!  Sure, one could easily rationalize that they replaced both nose pads, both screws, and gave my glasses a nice cleaning.  However, for me, all that went through my mind was 33% of my current savings vaporizing into thin air.  For crying out loud!

Financial Update - When I last reported about my finances, I had $13 and change.  I've since received $2 "for a coffee" . . . but since I don't drink coffee I was saving it for a hot chocolate on some cold morning.  That brought me up to $15 and change, but the nose pads have set me back to $10 and change.

Thankfully, the day also included some good fortune, which has taken the sting out of the whole nose pad fiasco.  I had a marvelous lunch given to me.  Well, to be accurate, it wasn't given to me as a lunch, but I ate it for lunch.   What was it?  Five home-made chocolate cookies, a Ziploc sandwich bag full of fresh blueberries, and a Cliff's energy bar . . . peanut butter flavoured.  All of these things were special.  The cookies were delicious . . . although I only ate two because I shared the other three with some friends.  The blueberries were spectacular . . . fresh, juicy, and sweet.  And, the Cliff's bar was quite tasty and surprisingly filling.  Talk about turning my frown upside down!

So there you have it - two things, one good and one bad, both relatively small for most people in the grand scheme of things but both HUGE for someone who has very little.  In fact, for people in poverty, most of their big things are not-so-big things for those who have resources.  Having food, getting water, washing clothes, having shelter . . . things taken for granted by most people in Canada, United States, and Europe but BIG things for those who are without.  That is one of the reasons I say that with very little effort on the part of those who "have", we can make a world of difference in the life of those who "have not".

Hey!!  I'm That Poverty Guy . . . let's make a world of difference together.

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  1. How many times in a child's life does his mother say, "Clean up your plate; there are starving children in Africa!" or "At least, TRY a piece of brocoli...there are starving children who would love to have that." I'm sure I said my share of those things to Sean when he was young but only now do I SEE that is he "getting it." BUT, since he has visited Sierra Leona and Quatemala and he's looked at hunger in the eyes of many people, it's really ME who is finally "getting it." Parents think they do all the teaching...but as any of you who have seen our play "DIRTY LAUNDRY" would know, Sean has been teaching me things since he was 4 years old. 4 decades later he continues to do so. Imagine him being totally grateful for cookies which he can share with friends and those blueberries that have taken on a new perspective for him. When he was a child, I had a tough time getting him to eat cookies...homemade or otherwise...and eating a bowl of berries would have been out of the question without a large scoop of vanilla ice cream to go with them. If I had only seen the future when he was little, I could have had a whole new threat to make him eat up his veggies, "Eat your day when you're the Poverty Guy, you'll wish that you had them."

  2. Sean D. Krausert, EditorAugust 10, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    Veggies, while necessary, are still not my favourite . . . but those berries with ice cream would really hit the spot! Hospitality is always welcome when you're homeless.