Monday, January 18, 2010


I want to donate money to the Red Cross on behalf of all the Haitians horribly impacted by the devestating earthquake.  I want my children to put together baby kits for theWorld Church Service on behalf of all those suffering in Haiti.

"I am affluent in my mind," I said.  After which the question was posed, "What happened?" "Interesting," I thought.  "We had never experienced a catastrophic event and yet..."  As a result of this conversation, my mind began racing backwards and forwards.  Backwards to my childhood and my early adulthood, to my life today and forward to the furture.  So I did what I always do, I went to the dictionary.

Affluent, when used as an adjective,  is defined as:
1. having an abundance of wealth, property, or other material goods; prosperous; rich: an affluent person.

2. abounding in anything; abundant.
3. flowing freely: an affluent fountain.

Based solely on the first definition, we are not affluent.  Looking at the second definition we abound in love, so that makes us affluent.  And according to the third definition the flowing freely we would also be considered affluent.  If you consider flowing freely in love affluent.

My realization ~ we are not affluent.  We are erudite.  We are generous.  We are educated.  We are thoughtful.  We are good parents.  We are good citizens.  We are making changes to our life. 
This realization was tough for me.  To actually say it out loud, however, was freeing.  I think I have felt ashamed that we couldn't keep up with the Jones'.  Yes, I have to work, for money and my mental health.  J is a teacher and everyone knows teachers do not make a lot of money.  But he is home 90% of the time when M's bus get home.  Do you know what a gift that is? 

So while I cannot make a donationto the Red Cross or put together baby kits with the children today, we will be able to do so later this week.  I am quite sure that the need in Haiti won't be any less in a few days than it is today.  Aren't you?