This morning I woke up thinking about my grandmother. She passed away a couple years before my grandfather did, in fact, as a family we always assumed the loss of her quickened his own demise.
Even though my grandfather loved my grandmother dearly she was neither a lighthearted nor carefree spirit. Most individuals who got a chance to meet my grandmother would say she was a hard woman, and to an extent they were right, but if they had known of her childhood and how she grew up perhaps they would have understood where her mannerisms and overall demeanor stemmed from.
The reason I am mentioning my grandmother in today’s post, is because she is the only person who truly defined poverty for me, and at a young age to boot. No, she didn’t know she was defining poverty for me, in her mind she was just telling us stories of her childhood and how she grew up those awful years after the war.
Today I hear the term ‘poverty’ thrown about more often than ever before. From more people in America – the land of plenty – descending below the poverty line, to more people than ever before living in poverty, it seems the word itself has lost meaning for many people.
Poverty is not owning one flat screen instead of two, it is not owning one car per family instead of two, true poverty is eating dirt because there is nothing else to eat and you can’t stand to hear your stomach rumble anymore.
Whenever my grandmother would tell us how her and the other girls in the village would eat dirt and see an earthworm as a treat, she would get this haunted look in her eyes that to this day I cannot describe.
Am I trying to make a case for how great things are? No, I’m just trying to open your eyes to the reality that it will get much, much worse.
In this nation we have never known true poverty except perhaps during the great depression, but those who lived through such times are long gone, and we do not believe we will ever see such times again.
Even in a country such as my homeland where people suffered under the iron fist of communism for forty-five years, the younger generation no longer understands why their parents and grandparents always put away cheese, pickle vegetables, cure meats, and other things just so they have some food on hand for any eventuality.
They do not understand it, because even though times got hard, they never had to resort to eating dirt, or tree bark, or grass just to keep from starving.
So what’s the point of today’s post? Am I trying to scare you? Am I starting my own meals ready to eat company and told you this story as a way to drum up business? No. I just woke up thinking about my grandmother, and about the stories she told of when she was a little girl, and decided to share it with you so you might understand the true meaning of hunger, of need, of lack, and of poverty.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.