There was one benefit from growing up in India that is not obvious when we meet. I was raised in a family where our “income” would be best described as meager. I never thought that we were poor at the time, however in hindsight I find my parents had an amazing ability to stretch every dollar and rupee beyond anything anyone ever imagined! While not having much in worldly things we did have an adventurous spirit and a willingness to enjoy life to the max.
One of the more interesting results of our approach to living came in the network of friends, many who have carried on into today. Our family network grew, from the traditional to a extended group sharing common interest in fast cars, go-karts, and creating new “toys”. Some of newcomers were from old money; richer than anything I have been able to imagine. Others shared the same background as my cousins. The mix worked and worked well.
As I grew up in this environment I saw several sides of each person. I obvious became aware of the externals; their standing in the community, their abilities to spend extraordinary sums of money on a whim, and the stories told of experiences in the “younger days”. I also saw that they struggled with the same issues that you and I face; the need to be accepted, to share and love, and to struggle with others trying to take advantage of their good fortune. Everyone, rich and less-so, from good schools and those who just made the pass, with a close-well knit family or single, grabbled with similar challenges. There was no doubt from my view that “the rich and the poor share hands as equals – God made them both!” (Proverbs 22.2)
And yet I could see how others treated them very differently.
We have the opportunity to give to others what they long for and need every day. We can give acceptance, unconditional, kindness and understanding, avoiding judgment, and friendship. Remember, we pull on our trousers the same; one leg at a time.