Saturday, June 10, 2006

Do you have enough?

I was having an e-mail conversation with my good friend Daniel a while ago, pondering the question how to get more people to step off the treadmill and positively change our society:

"If the answer to propagate change is to summarily quit one's job, it will be reserved for the few that have the financial means to do so, or who wish to step back into poverty."
"Poverty?  Oh Steve.  Take a walk between two Sky Train stations in Bangkok.  There you will see real poverty.  But I suppose there are spots in Bangledesh that make that look like the Taj Ma Hal.  My point is that each of us has to define enough.  ... Only you can look at your own situation.  By the way on that walk between sky train stations you can see beauty that will make you cry it's so beautiful, and I know you are aware of that."
Thanks Daniel for getting me out of my head and back into the 'real' world.

It's so refreshing to smell the wetness of morning grass, to see the tadpoles scurrying to and fro, to look again and find the Iris blossom when only yesterday there was nothing, to relax with a friend upon the lily pad, and to hear the water flow into and out of the pond, endlessly, ceaselessly, always the same, and yet always different. I certainly do have enough.

Here's a story that also makes the point that we all must answer the question "Do I have Enough?" Take a moment and read it. Yes, you have enough time ;-)

Something to Make Me Happy
By Sharon Palmer

     I was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping in a toy store and decided to look at Barbie dolls for my nieces.
     A nicely dressed little girl was excitedly looking through the Barbie dolls as well, with a roll of money clamped tightly in her little hand.
     When she came upon a Barbie she liked, she would turn and ask her father if she had enough money to buy it.  He usually said "yes," but she would keep looking and keep going through their ritual of "Do I have enough?"
     As she was looking, a little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokémon toys.
     He was dressed neatly, but in clothes that were obviously rather worn, and wearing a jacket that was probably a couple of sizes too small.  He, too, had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars or so, at the most.
     He was with his father as well, and kept picking up the Pokémon video games.  Each time he picked one up and looked at his father, his father shook his head, "no."
     The little girl had apparently chosen her Barbie, a beautifully dressed, glamorous doll that would have been the envy of every little girl on the block.
     However, she had stopped and was watching the interchange between the little boy and his father.  Rather dejectedly, the boy had given up on the video games and had chosen what looked like a book of stickers instead.  He and his father then started walking through another aisle of the store.
     The little girl put her Barbie back on the shelf, and ran over to the Pokémon games.  She excitedly picked up one that was lying on top of the other toys, and raced toward the check-out, after speaking with her father.
     I picked up my purchases and got in line behind them.
     Then, much to the little girl's obvious delight, the little boy and his father got in line behind me.
     After the toy was paid for and bagged, the little girl handed it back to the cashier and whispered something in her ear.  The cashier smiled and put the package under the counter.
     I paid for my purchases and was rearranging things in my purse when the little boy came up to the cashier.  The cashier rang up his purchases and then said, "Congratulations, you are my hundredth customer today, and you win a prize!"
     With that, she handed the little boy the Pokémon game, and he could only stare in disbelief.
     It was, he said, exactly what he had wanted!
     The little girl and her father had been standing at the doorway during all of this, and I saw the biggest, prettiest grin on that little girl that I have ever seen in my life.  Then they walked out the door, and I followed, close behind them.
     As I walked back to my car, in amazement over what I had just witnessed, I heard the father ask his daughter why she had done that.  I'll never forget what she said to him.
     "Daddy, didn't Nana and Paw Paw want me to buy something that would make me happy?"
     He said, "Of course they did, Honey."
     To which the little girl replied, "Well, I just did!"
     With that, she giggled and started skipping toward their car.  Apparently, she had decided on the answer to her own question of, "Do I have enough?"


Fred Hsu said...

Great story! I love how giving and insightful kids can be. That little girl is definitely an inspiration :) Thanks for sharing!

Steven Crisp said...

Fred, thank you for your visit. And for mentioning this blog on yours. You might be interested in seeing my sister blog Reflections of Beauty. Please stop back on ocassion.