Friday, July 03, 2009

On being rich


I've had a rough couple of months during which I have had no income. Of course, my husband has continued to earn his (very decent) salary, but our overheads were always based on two incomes and the loss of one put things like our house and our car in jeopardy. It was scary there for a while.

Not for the first time in our lives, we found ourselves on the receiving end of the kindness of friends. Bags of groceries, gifts of money and invitations for meals. It has been hard to accept these gifts, to be honest. I felt like a burden. I also felt embarrassed, because I knew there were people who are far worse off than we are. One friend pointed out we have always been the sort of people who consider it a privilege to do that sort of thing for other people, so we should realise that those who were helping us were seeing it in the same way. It was a lesson in humility.

But, even though I have learned this morning that a new contract is winging its way to me, the lesson wasn't over yet. Anol Bhattacharya (who twitters as SoulSoup) tweeted a link to this site this morning.

It is sobering to see that 99% of the world's population is poorer than we are - even when I don't earn a penny. We are truly privileged.

If you ever travel to Cape Town by air, almost on arrival, you will be reminded of how privileged you are: right next to the Cape Town airport is a squatter camp where people live in shanty houses made of bits of wood, corrugated iron and other scraps.

It gives you a sense of perspective about the air conditioning not working in your hired car!

Image by GNJOR on Photobucket

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Doesn't it just. Perspective is everything....