Poverty, Privilege and Pumpkin Seeds
Today as I was preparing my favorite breakfast food, American fries with onions, I thought of how privileged I was to have a home and food to prepare. As I adjusted the flame on the stove my thoughts shifted to a young girl’s face and a conversation I had with her last fall at one of our after school programs. She and her classmates had received a pumpkin and colander just the week before at the fall family festival event. She decorated her pumpkin with markers and learned how to collect, wash and bake pumpkin seeds. I haven’t been able to forget her question she asked me the following week. As I sat next to her she leaned over and asked, “I wanted to bake the pumpkin seeds but we don’t have a stove. Can you tell me how to bake them in a microwave?” My heart sank and I didn’t know how to answer. How could this sweet girl’s family not have a stove? How did they prepare meals? Are they living in a hotel? (Which is more common then we might realize)
I was unable to answer this young girl’s question, it was time to teach another group. I didn’t get her name, I couldn’t remember her face but I will never forget her question. What she really wanted was to know how to tell her parents how to bake pumpkin seeds without a stove. Although I cannot remember her face, she represents all children living in poverty.
How can we answer her question? To answer her question we need to have solutions to the real problem, poverty.