Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shadow people

Our topic maven provided us with "shadow people" as this week's prompt. She'd seen a movie that stayed with her, one with people who lived in squalor and were ridiculed for it.

I can't say as I experienced that in elementary and middle school. As a young child I was aware that people didn't have much. My father shrimped, which was weather dependent. If the weather was bad, he couldn't go to work. That was bad news for a family of 5 kids. Also, if your health went bad you couldn't work. We didn't have health insurance when I was a kid; I honestly don't know how we paid all of our bills. But within our community, when someone couldn't work, everyone else fished a little longer and shared what they could. That's just how it was.

Later on, in high school in a larger community to the south, the situation was different. I wasn't aware of the have-nots, though the "haves" were shockingly apparent. But I was guilty of thinking less of people who got bad grades. Yes, it's true. I was a grade snob. Imagine my surprise years later, when I'm doing intricate and analytical work for less pay than my electrician!!!!

That opened my eyes once again to a basic truth. We are all equal. No matter what you may think you have, it is all transitory. People and places and possessions come and go. Family and a handful of good friends endure.

Yes, there are still shadow people around, but I don't see them as shadows. I see them as people who have needs just like me.

Have a blessed week!

a fresh new voice in Southern fiction

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