As a kid growing up, I would never say that my family was in the poverty level, but we were definitely far from rich. We lived (and still live) like most American families: paycheck to paycheck.
Despite the fact that we still live that way, my parents have both taught me that life is always harder for someone else. “While the grass may be greener on the other side, you still need to be grateful that you even have grass because there is always someone out there who only has mud”
But my mom was smart and she taught me that no matter how hard things might of felt, there were always people who had it harder. As a kid, we always supported one family and made sure that thier Christmas was a good one. We would go out and buy a ton of food for their meal and get them toys for the kids. We would give them gift certificates so they could buy clothes or anything that they needed. And of course, we would buy them a huge tree – with a ton of ornaments.
As a toddler, this was certainly not easy for me to understand. We would walk into Toys R Us to buy toys for a little boy that we were sponsoring, and I would always suggest that he wanted a “Barbie” or an “Easy Bake Oven”. But after a few years, it began to sink in and my mom had to start keeping me to a budget so that we could have a Christmas too.
Poverty is such a big deal in our world – and we must find a way to eliminate it. There are so many people who are in desperate need of help. The littlest things can make the biggest difference. You don’t even have to have money to help, all you need to give is your time. Whether it is working at a soup kitchen, buying a few extra cans at the grocery store to donate to the food bank, or tutoring homeless kids so that they can learn to read…it all makes a difference. The smallest things make the biggest difference.
Thats why I believe in the Pay It Foward theory: When someone does something good for you – then do something good for 3 other people. It’ll make you feel good that you helped someone, and hopefully they’ll do the same.