Thursday, January 29, 2009

One Thin Dime

Recently when we were going through Craig's parent's papers, we all had a good laugh over an old letter from the bank Craig's father had saved. It had to do with a refund that was owed to Craig's parents on the purchase of their home. (They paid $6,000 something for the house below in Dodge City, Kansas back in the early 1950's.) Anyway, the letter was a profuse apology from the bank for overcharging them 10 cents. One dime. And the banker had enclosed the dime in the letter.

I was watching CNN yesterday at the gym and saw a short news clip about Afghanistan. I know you've probably seen it, but the current state of that nation is shocking. Desperation and poverty abound. The clip showed women and children in the street trying to scoop up spilled diesel fuel with their hands to put into small containers and carry away to be used for heat or sold. They interviewed men standing all day in the cold snow hoping someone would hire them for a day's labor. The men were hoping to earn 6 cents a day. Yes, 6 cents a day. The unemployment rate now is 40% with half the population living below the extreme poverty level. One man standing on the corner in the frigid cold said that really, he would rather be dead than continue living this way.

I immediately thought of the dime that banker had refunded to my father-in-law back in the early 1950's. And the big laugh we all had over the letter. It's mind boggling that the one thin dime would represent more than a day's labor to that poor man. It made me wish I could reach through the television screen and give handfuls of dimes to all of them.

I promise to return to my usual programming tomorrow!


jeanie said...

My nephew is doing his third tour in Afghanistan right now. They are flushing the Taliban out of the mountains. Obama plans to increase US troops there. The cost of the war in Iraq for one day could feed all of Afghanistan for some time.

Life's a Beach! said...

Jeanie, maybe they could load a cargo plane with rolls of dimes. I'd donate some. But the problem is always the distribution. Who really gets it! The video really made me sick. I couldn't locate it online or I would have posted it.

Vee said...

Beck, I've been listening to Three Cups of Tea. I think you'd enjoy the book (or the audiobook). I'll hunt for that clip you saw when I have time. I'd be interested to see it.

Life's a Beach! said...

Vee, thanks for reminding me about Three Cups of Tea. I'm going to reserve a copy right now! :)