Friday, April 24, 2009

Reality Check

On my train ride into the City this morning, I was startled awake by two small girls appealing to our train car for money. They told us the shelters were full and they had no food and that their mother was a victim of domestic violence and was doing her best. Their mother stood behind them as they made this appeal while holding up a newsletter of sorts to sell for a $1. My first thought was "how could a mother let her children subject themselves to this?!" But, then I looked into the mother's eyes - mom to mom. It was as though she were talking to me when she said "Check the shelters for yourself if you like. They are full. Please, I'm begging you, I just want to put a little bit of food in my babies' bellies before they go to school and maybe find a place for us to sleep tonight." That broke my heart right there. I knew that if I had to, I'd do the same to take care of my family. With dirty looks and snears upon me, I gave her everything I had in my wallet (which was only $5). If she was lying about her situation, that is crappy, but if she wasn't then for $5 I just helped out someone far less fortunate than I.

Now that I'm a mother, I have an enormous amount of empathy for other mothers and children. I see my own kids in every little face I look into or every horrible story I hear, regardless of color or gender. I couldn't stop thinking about this mother or her girls for the rest of my ride; I may never stop thinking about them. This was a smack in the head this morning to remind me of just how lucky I am. Money is tight for most of us everywhere and I am thankful I have a job, a home and a healthy family. If this economic down turn teaches us anything, it is that we need to focus on what's really important and to stop complaining about what others might consider a luxury (a job). I can't wait to go home tonight and hug my kids and my husband. Happy Friday! Be thankful today!

1 comment:

  1. well said. i can't tell you how many times sharon and i have had this exact conversation in the last 6 months. good on you. i hope we all make it through this!