About poverty

– Mommy, are we poor?
– Why do you ask? Did someone ask you?
– No. I came up with this question all by myself.
– Do you know what poor means?
– Yes. It means to not have food, and to not have clothes…
– And do you have food and clothes?
– No… I am poor! [grin]

Today during dinner we went back and revisited this topic. We talked about what it means to be rich, and the fact that true richness is in enjoying the small things; that there is no shame in being poor (aka having less money and other goods) and the importance of sharing. I asked her if she had two apples, would she give one to Tobias. She sat and thought for a while. She said no. “I would give one to Melisuca. Only if she really wanted one.”

By my observations Jackie is very generous, but does so according to her inner clock. I remember early on, after sharing her toys and sandwich with our neighbors, when someone asked her to share one more thing she looked at me long, smiling but piercingly. My response, looking back, was wise. She had already shared, and I was curious what she would do if she had complete freedom from other’s expectations.  I told her: “It’s up to you. You can say yes, or you can say no.” I guess her look of puzzlement was due to the concept of freedom to choose to share or not to share. The ease with which she kindly declines invitations or requests is so refreshing, though she is quite empathetic.

“Mommy, do you and daddy work hard to buy me toys, and clothes and food that I like, and ice-cream?”

J. Let’s go shopping!
Me. Do you have any money?
J. No, but you do!

Me: What are the money in your piggybank for?
J: Sparkly shoes [of course!] (the answer never changes!)

Me. We need to save money for the big trip to California.
J. Money is not for saving. It’s for spending.