Wednesday, June 05, 2013

A Hefty Dose of Perspective

I try to wake up each day with gratitude. And it generally happens. But yesterday, for some reason, I was a bit caught up in what is now being referred to as 'first world problems.' Like...

1. Dale was home sick and we have a getaway planned this weekend. A getaway in a country where I can sit by the pool without a big black robe in the 110 degree weather and have a beverage of my choice. I want him to get better fast.

2. Seems all my teacher friends are on holiday already and I have 4 weeks to go.

3. I am tired to the bone of my clothes. Our water here is actually desalinated ocean water, so you can only imagine what it does to your clothes when you wash them. My bras are falling apart.

4. My hair has turned an entirely different color due to washing in chemical 'used-to-be-the-ocean' water every day. (Actually, I kind of like this one).

Poor me, right? And I've lived in developing countries where people have real problems like finding enough protein for the day and watching their children die of malaria. Shame.

But then this happened. Chocolate scones.

We get to school at 7:00 and kids don't usually arrive until 7:30. Right at 7:05, one of our 7th graders from Sudan popped in my room with a tray of chocolate scones. He informed me he was selling them to raise money for an orphanage. I asked him about it, and this is what he said, 

"Well, in my country, where my town is, there was a bomb. And a lot of the parents died, so the kids are orphans now. My sister and I thought we could do something to help."

This is where i quickly excused myself to "get money" but really was in the bathroom stifling my sobs. 

When I returned, I gave him the equivalent of about 20 bucks US. He apologized that he didn't have any change, and I somehow managed to tell him he could keep the change (the look of surprise on his face...) without curling up in a ball on the floor and pounding my fists at the unfairness of some things in this big world.

I'm always a fan of a healthy dose of perspective. I love it especially when it kicks me in the butt like it did yesterday. 

*I do totally love the randomness of what is on my K4 teacher desk--a random googly eye, a button off someone's dress that I need to return to the mom, and a tiny safety cone. 


Popo and Nana and Gong Gong and Granda said...

Incredibly proud of the woman you have become, sweet and compassionate daughter of mine.

Anonymous said...

It sometimes amazes me what makes us think! Thanks for sharing!
Love NieNie

Gwen Martin said...

The good news is that you recognized the "first world whining" and was able to contribute to the young man's project. Good on him and his sister for their efforts. We all need to be more aware of the place we are in our lives compared to thousands of others. Thanks for the post. And enjoy that holiday in the sun minus the coverup. ;)