Monday, April 27, 2009

Disclaimer: Might make your brain hurt

I mean, the whole post might make your brain hurt. I couldn't be more discombobulated if I tried.

[After an inordinate amount of time had passed waiting for Craig to come out of the gas station.]

CRAIG: Ugh. That took forever.
ME: Uh huh.
CRAIG: There was this guy in line ahead of me and he was paying for his gas. He only got $8.75 in gas because that is all the money he had. I felt bad.
ME: Okay.
CRAIG: And then he paid for it all in change, counting out all $8.75 in change.
KATE: Wow, he has A LOT of change!

I love that kids look at things so literally, forcing us to see things from a different point of view. Still, I couldn’t help but bristle at the whole conversation and realize just ignorant we can be and how much we take what we have for granted. You think I am going all Lifetime movie on you, right? Next up, the self-help book of positive affirmations. Believe me, this isn’t my typical train of thought, so it bears discussing. Anyway, it caught Craig off guard that someone would only get $8.75 in gas because ALL THEY HAD was $8.75. When we need gas, we fill up the tank, right?

I’ve spent the past month volunteering on a few HR related projects in the community. A portion of that time has been spent preparing soon-to-be graduates from local alternative ed high schools for job search and interviewing skills. Another portion of that time has been spent giving interview coaching and guidance to a segment of the chronically unemployed utilizing the welfare system. It is hard not to feel defeated when you are trying to provide motivation and encouragement to people in these situations. Let’s face it, in Michigan there are plenty of unemployed people with graduate degrees. I’m trying to offer hope to people with sparse education, criminal records, and undesirable work histories.

I’m so sick of this economy. I want to punch it in the face.

It just makes me realize how damn lucky I am that I can put $40 of gas in my car when I need it.

In changing my mindset to mirror the optimistic approach of my three-year old, I leave you with this:

Man, I love this kid!


MarjnHomer said...

We have to look at the things in life that bring pleasure but don't cost a thing. :-)

Call Me Cate said...

She sounds like a keeper for sure!

And thanks for the reminder. I can't imagine not being able to fill my tank. It's not something I give any thought to but for a lot of people, it's a definite struggle.

C. Beth said...

What a great photo. :) Your story made me sad, but in a positive, being-reminded-of-important-things, kind of sadness. Thank you.

Michel said...

You're absolutely right! We take so much for granted. I see so many people in the third world who cannot afford to feed their families on a daily basis.

Kids always seem to be able to find the joy in any situation... unless of course it is bedtime or something like that...then, that is a horror.

Claire said...

That's a beautiful picture of the two of you. Just lovely.

I bought gas today and the person who was at my pump before me only bought $5 worth of gas. It was so sad seeing those numbers on the read-out, $5 and 2ish gallons of gas.

I think we all need to punch the economy in the face. I wonder if it would do any good?

Jeanne said...

Thanks for a good reminder....

Grand Pooba said...

Wow, I totally take too much for granted!

shortmama said...

Definitely a good reminder of why I feel blessed.

Suzy said...

Such a pretty picture of two people. (going for full alliteration, one L or 2?)scull