Blog Action Day: Poverty

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.

Mark

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Comments

  1. it must have made you very proud indeed. you’ve raised them well. 🙂

    saw this post via the front page of blog action day. it’s great that you’re participating. 🙂

  2. Lindsey Brothers Says: October 15, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I checked out Casa de Maryland, I didn’t even know this organization existed. Sounds like you raised your kids well 🙂

  3. Mark Story Says: October 15, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Kouji and Lindsey,

    Thanks for the comments about my children, but it is they who teach me. Children offer absolute, unfettered love, joy, generosity and enthusiasm – I’ve always said that it’s my job just not to screw it up.

    And La Casa de Maryland takes — yes, undocumented — workers and moves them from 7-11 parking lots where they are often taken advantage of and enables them to have a guaranteed contract (those who hire them have to sign it as well). They do very good work in trying circumstances. The Story family will be making a repeat visit in the future for a variety of reasons, but most of all, the lesson learned for my kids — and tying on both paragraphs — if that poverty is global.

    Mark

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