Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Everyone Is Somebody's Baby

When we were in Louisville, we entrusted Vinny to the care of his Granny and Granddad, and went to the movie theater to see Slumdog Millionaire, the story of a semi-literate young man from the slums of Mumbai who wins at the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."  It was a really good movie and I highly recommend it, but I noticed that I was very tense the whole time we were watching the movie.

The movie was told in flashbacks to the main character's childhood, and while I don't want to give away the movie, suffice it to say that he grew up in abject poverty.  Seeing all those children starving and begging on the streets, living in filth and squalor, and being mistreated and abused really upset me.  It took me a couple of hours to get my jaw unclenched and my blood pressure back to normal.

I know that this really is the way life is for many children in the world, and when I really think about it, it makes me sad.  I am struck by how fortunate I was to have been born into such a prosperous family, how privileged my life has been, and how lucky I am to be able to pass along such stability to my own child.  We've never worried about where our next meal was coming from, never had to resort to thievery or deception to stay alive, and our opportunities are unlimited compared to those of people who have grown up under such dire circumstances.

I am so glad to be able to more than adequately feed, clothe, and house my child, and to know that in the event of my untimely demise, he will still be taken care of thanks to my life insurance policy, my husband, and (in the event of Jeff's death too) his godparents.

But I still get depressed when I think about all the children in this world who don't have that kind of support system.

Everyone is somebody's baby, and this hits home even more when you have a child of your own.


rachel said...

I've found myself thinking that same thought about the homeless in Vancouver. The guy sitting in the rain outside the Library, talking to himself, was somebody's baby once.

I try to give to the food bank box at the grocery store, as often as I notice somebody hungry on the street who I could've given change to. Today, I bought two bags of a kind of chips Scott likes, because they were on good sale, and as we were walking out, Byron said, "Wait, mom, wait! We got two bags of chips! But some people don't have any money!" And I handed him one of the bags, and he took it and put it in the box.

I usually try to give something slightly more nutritious, but I was so touched he thought of it.

ScienceGirl said...

I get easily depressed when thinking about all these less fortunate then me, especially since I don't have to go far to see examples of dire poverty - I just have to go back to my birthplace. I try to keep in mind that pocket change spent on coffee could mean a week of food for someone else, and try to handle my money accordingly.