Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Feed the Children...

I was channel surfing earlier tonight, some time after 7, looking for something to watch. I started out watching L&O on TNT then went down the line looking to see what else was on. I almost never watch my network, but when I was channel surfing I stopped. OK, I admit it, I only stopped because right as I put it on there, Dean Cain was on talking about something. Of course I got curious, after all, he has only gotten better looking as he's aged! *ahem*

So I left it on out of curiosity and he was talking about being in Kenya. I don't know what the show was about exactly, just that a handful of actors went to Kenya and spent time in the slums, orphanage, schools, feeing the kids and even on safari. I was watching Eyes on Kenya and from what I could tell, it was a joint effort with Feed the Children. The show itself was very eye opening and I'm sure, life changing for most of the people that watched it. For me though, even though I don't even own a passport, I know people live like that. I know that is reality for folks in Kenya, and really, other parts of the world.

Even though I grew up on the north side of Chicago, we weren't exactly rich. We had a nice apartment building, lived modestly and all, but if you looked closely, you would have seen all the things that were hand me downs and what not. But I still am not surprised or shocked when I see people living with less. While watching Eyes on Kenya I thought of the time I did a serving project on the south side. I had gone back to Willow Creek at the time (this was after I bought a new car, my old one was in too bad of shape for me to make the drive weekly from my house so I stopped going). I remember it was a Saturday morning in winter and the group I was put in went down to the south side to meet up with a church there. We split up in teams and were given a list of names and addresses and a bag of presents and off we went. The group I was in had the easiest assignment, we just went up and down the street the church was on. The other groups had to walk to other streets, one or two groups even went to the projects.

It's funny how being there felt like home to me. Even though I never hung out on the south side when I lived in the city, I still went to high school with a number of people that lived on the south side, some of whom lived in the projects, or knew people that did. I was probably the only person from Willow that wasn't shocked or surprised or freaked out by anything I saw. It was all normal to me. I guess that just goes to show you the difference between growing up in the suburbs vs the city.

Even though there were some nice looking homes, they still lacked things like adequate heating. I remember someone from my group being shocked/surprised/whatisthewordI'mlookingfor? at the sight of one of the houses. We walked back into the kitchen and the mom was cooking. She had all four burners going though, to heat the house. It's not that I'm jaded or anything, but to me that wasn't surprising or shocking or anything. That was everyday life for some people.

People who have never known what it's like to not have money, or struggle with finances, have no clue what it's like to not have money or struggle to make ends meet. Some of us have spent 20+ years living like that, while others who only go through seasons of that try to tell us what to do to get out of it. You know, there is no way to "get out of it". As easy as it is for you to say do this, this, and this, the reality is far different. We can't change our situations overnight and harping on us to do so and wagging your fingers at us for xyz isn't helping. though xyz is what you see and hear about at this moment, you don't know the whole story and you shouldn't harp on people for the way they live.

Just like those families on the south side can't snap their fingers and things will improve overnight, same goes for people like me.

At the end of the show the actors talked about giving the orphanage a Christmas present. They all pitched in and provided the resources for the orphanage to have a new school and sleeping quarters. It was heart warming to hear those actors talk about how this trip has changed them and how they were going to go back there again because they wanted to do more. I'm so sick and tired of seeing and hearing about celebrities who are spending thousands of dollars on clothes, purses, etc. Um, how about using your money for more important and better things?

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