I will make this post short and sweet, because sometimes, the less said, the better. Today is International Blog Action Day 2008 and I am happy to be a part of it with my little blog. This year’s topic is poverty.
Here comes the disclaimer: I live in a nice neighborhood, have two great, stable jobs and my life is pretty good. But yesterday, I was talking with a colleague at work whose nine year-old daughter asked her parents last week if they wanted to keep her allowance for a while – not give it to her. Strange thing for a nine year-old to ask. Why?
It turns out that two of her classmates’ fathers has recently lost their jobs. Stories like this, from the protected cocoon in which I live, bring it home a) how fortunate I am, and b) not others share the same fortune. I may complain about my 401(k) tanking, but at least I HAVE a 401(k).
My last note is that, as a dad with two young children, I focus intently on helping them understand how fortunate we really are. That usually includes a trip to the basement for them to forage for un-played-with toys, put them in a box and take them to a local day-laborer site, the Casa de Maryland. Last year was the first time that we tried this, and thinking through the minds of small children, I started with just one box and a request to “think hard” about the toys they didn’t want.
We ended up with four boxes of toys, a very grateful staff at the Casa de Maryland and one very proud father. We are fortunate, but not everyone is.