My wife Becky is the warmest accountant you’ll ever meet. But she’s still an accountant, which, according to her, means she’s not as emotional as us artsy types – which is yet another reason I was glad she came along with us to India. It would be nice, I thought, to get a more level headed perspective on all this.
One of the criticisms I’ve heard multiple times about these blogging trips is that the bloggers write too emotionally. There aren’t enough facts and details and statistics for the accountants reading along out there. I always explain to these critics that there’s no effort to make the experience or posts emotional. I give the bloggers lots of facts and details and statistics but they’re human and human beings who hang out with kids living in extreme poverty are going to get a little emotional no matter how hard they try not to.
Which brings me back to Becky. She tried not to.
A few days into our trip we visited a slum in Kolkata.
We saw the smallest “homes” I’ve ever seen.
We sat with the children from those homes at their Compassion project while the older kids sang and danced for us. When their program was over the project director handed small gift bags out to all of the bloggers as a thank you for paying his kids a visit.
A little girl sitting next to Becky wanted to say thank you too. But what did she have to give?
She reached into her pocket and pulled out a ball of tissue. She unwrapped it to proudly reveal one coin and a small cracked clay cross.
She slipped the cross from the tissue and pressed it into Becky’s hand. Then she touched her finger to the crack with a look of embarrassment on her face. “Sorry,” she said.
Just then the kids were dismissed to their classes and Becky, with her eyes welling up with tears, told me about the little girl’s generosity. ”How come people who have so little are more giving than people who have so much?”
Is there a statistic that better expresses that moment than a tear? Alan Greenspan couldn’t get through it without a hanky. It’s impossible.
By the way, do you have something to give?