Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Many worlds, it’s sometimes hard to handle

We live in a neighborhood that is very mixed. My husband has a PhD. He works for a Fortune 500 company. There is a Dr across the street. But we also have high rise apartments on our street. In these houses live many immigrants. Many are uneducated, unemployed, underemployed, and poor. The best friend of Sarah is very poor. Her family are immigrants. They live in Government housing. It’s not pretty. This little girl visited this afternoon. She is a total sweetheart! She may be poor but she is well cared for. She is always clean and well dressed. She has good manners. They had a great time together. But when she went home, she had a book and a stuffed animal tucked under her coat. Sarah wanted to give these things to her. I said “what is this”? I told the friend, and Sarah that she could borrow these things, but she could not have them. Sarah does not care about this stuff, and either do I. I just don’t want the weirdness of friends being “bought”. So Sarah can share her toys, but not just give them away. We walked Sarah’s friend home. When we got there, there was a drunk man that almost grabbed Sarah. It scarred Sarah, and sort of shook me up too. I will not let Sarah play there. That’s so hard! Her friend can play at our house, but Sarah can not play there! Sarah sends her friend home with her hands full of toys. Her friend has nothing to give (in material terms). Believe me, Sarah values friendship more then anything! It is disturbing to see such a gap in culture and income. But I need to find a way to deal with it. Sarah’s friend is a beautiful, sweet kid. They go to the same school. Sarah adores her! Philip’s best friend is also from a disadvantaged family. You can not make it weird by giving too much. I wanted to cry when I saw that drunk man. I’m so sorry she lives in that awful environment! But someone takes good care of her. It’s uncomfortable living in two worlds…but that is where God has placed us. If Sarah was in China, she would most likely be poorer then her friend. Life is so strange!

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