Friday, 6 May 2011
Last night during dinner, I did something I had never done before. As the guys were finishing off their meals, I pulled out a book and read aloud from it.
They all listened - well, Rocco got bored and kept trying to talk over me and I used my patient words and kept asking him gently to wait until mummy had finished talking. He did.
This is a true story, written by a guy called Scott Sabol. The book is this inspirational-type picture book for adults called 1. It's bloody unreal.
"Seattle is a beautiful place, but in the 1980s I was living in a beat-up beach cabin. I had an old TV, a lumpy futon, and one of those white plastic Princess Phones. I was basically broke, but my noisy old refrigerator was stuffed with fresh vegetables, eggs, fruit, beer and frozen pizza...and I had a spectacular view of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains and the Seattle skyline.
That year, I volunteered to host a college exchange student from Guinea-Bissau, Africa. When I picked him up at the airport, Salvatore was easy to spot. He was 23 tall and regal-looking, with a huge smile and lustrous blue-black skin. He had lived his entire life as a barefoot fisherman in a small native village located on a big river deep in the jungle of Guinea-Bissau...and now his village had raised the money to send him to study U.S. Fisheries on their behalf. He had travelled directly from his African village to Seattle, and I could see he was astonished at what he saw as we drove through the beautiful city.
When we arrived at my raggedy cabin, I worried that Salvatore might be disappointed with his new accommodations. He seemed somber as I showed him the little bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, TV and telephone. What was Salvatore thinking? I decided to take him out on the little deck to try to impress him with the view. The snow-clad mountains were spread out against the sky that day, and one of Seattle's majestic white ferries was gliding across the sparkling waters of Puget Sound. We stood there silently for awhile, and then Salvatore turned to me with his brow deeply knit in thought.
"You are a king?" he asked. "No," I laughed "I'm just an everyday person like you." Salvatore was silent for a moment , and then he turned again and said quite clearly and emphatically, "You are a King." And it suddenly dawned on me that he was right. All these years I had been a king and not known it."
- Scott Sabol, Ph.D.
I stopped reading, almost all choked up, to look up and see Dave almost choked up. This is why I love him again, over and over.
I read the slew of facts on the next page ... "If you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world's population. If you have a little money in the bank or some spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy. If you can drink water from your kitchen tap, you are more fortunate than 1.5 billion people who have no access to clean water at all."
"If your everyday problems are weighing you down, there are millions of people on Earth who would gladly trade places with you right now - problems and all - and feel they have been royally blessed.
Remember: From those to whom much is given, much is expected."
Max spoke about what I had read for the rest of the night, and again this morning. His 9-year old brain starting to tick over and look around. At our luxury, our luck. And hopefully .. our gratitude.