Monday, October 30, 2017
Happiness, and a Bag of Rice
He told me he dreamed, as a little nomad sleeping by the fire under the stars in a village in Kenya, of a bigger life than seemed possible. But he shone brightly, and worked hard, and he began to rise, from school to higher education, assisted by scholarships. Then, he made a desperate push, hanging on by a thread, to complete his degree. His positivity never faltered. I asked him what motivated him to strive so hard. He replied, "Poverty." Unlike any poverty I ever knew, in this first world of excess across the sea. He would try to take home a few dollars, when he returned home every Christmas, and said his mother would praise him to the skies and thank him for his help. He told me a Christmas story, laughing, of when he was a little boy, coming in the door expecting his mother to be cooking rice, which they ate only at Christmas. He found her cooking vegetables. There was no money for rice that year. And he cried. He said, "Mum and I laugh about it now." It was almost Christmas time again, and it occurred to me, "How much can a bag of rice cost, anyway?" That Christmas he carried home a bag of rice, rubber shoes for his siblings, and a special gift for his mother. He said there were cries and ululations, and that his brothers' and sisters' eyes shone in the firelight. He said, "Thank you, Koko," but truly, it was I who was grateful, for it was the best gift I ever gave, and the most meaningful.
is as simple as a bag
of rice from a friend.
for Toni's prompt at dVerse: Kindness, an act of kindness received or given. This memory of several years back came to mind. In this case, the kindness went both ways, and our hearts have stayed close. (p.s. That little nomad boy is now a member of the Legislature in Kenya! Still shining. Smiles.)