Updated: Jul 31, 2019
It isn’t nice being poor. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you live on the streets or sleep on a park bench, however. There are families who hide a lot of things behind closed doors. I was the Mom in one of those families.
What "not having enough" meant to me was that my children were dressed in clothes from a thrift store, as was I. It means that you sell a bicycle you won so that you can give your child a birthday party when he turned 8. It means that you make up excuses to not attend a work function because you cannot afford to spend the money on the ingredients for the pot-luck contribution.
Poor comes in lots of different kinds of faces. If you stop and look around you might see it.
One year a family whose children came to my day home gave me a one hundred dollar bill. I stared in confusion when I opened that envelope from Julia and Tim, I had not held one before. There was a little note that said “spend this on yourself”. It was the most touching gift I had ever received.
I didn’t have to tell them that I needed it. They saw it in the living room that was bare of furniture. They probably saw it in my children’s worn clothing. They gave because they could.
Time goes on and with some good fortune and a lot of hard work your life improves. You never quite give up on being frugal but you have a little bit more to share. You try each day to be more generous, because shadows of your days of doing without still follow you. It takes practice in spite of what you now have in your bank account.
I think of Julia and Tim especially at the end of each school year. I think about the gift of generosity that they gave me that June day that changed my life. Because what they gave me was Hope.
What can we each do today to give someone else Hope?
Gail Williamson writes at Found and Bliss about the mystery and magic encountered each day. At https://foundandbliss.blogspot.com , she shares inspirational words from the side streets of life, words that encourage and make you ponder. Gail has spent a career in fostering mindfulness and self-improvement and is now devoting her time to writing full-time. She fuels her pursuit of life-long learning with good conversation, great coffee and red wine, deep reading, yoga, making jewelry and hopes that you will join her for the ride. We are all connected! Keep looking. When you find it, make it better ©. You can find Gail at Found and Bliss on FB, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.