Having and Having Not 2

Let me start out by assuring you that I feel tremendously blessed and have felt so throughout my life.  Having said that, I realize that I have never had money luck.  Some people have beauty luck, some people have money luck, some people have love luck and others have job luck.  There are a whole lot of other “lucks” or “attractions” that people have but that would take too long to list.  Luck to me is something you walk into unexpectedly that has nothing to do with your own effort or planning.  I’ve written a whole essay about it that you will read when the book of essays is published.

Tonight’s point is that I don’t have money luck.  I don’t attract money to me even though I’ve been around people of true wealth several times in my life and have, in fact, met three billionaires – one of whom I actually spent a little one-on-one time with.  Beyond the wealthy set, I’ve known ordinary, working class people who’ve had money luck.  I’ve known work colleagues who hit the lottery on a regular basis.  I’ve known people who’ve gotten cash awards in recognition for a job well-done (and in two instances I can’t figure out what job they did well that deserved this recognition).  I’ve known people who’ve gotten major settlements for discrimination complaints.  I’ve even had a friend who gets regularly gifted by cashiers she doesn’t know when she shops.  Something about her face makes people give things to her.  Not me – I pretty much always pay full freight.

As I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love it strikes me how unlike Ms. Gilbert I am.  She traveled through and lived well in  three “I” places – Italy, India and Indonesia as she journeyed to find herself.  If I were writing that kind of book, I’d have to write about Illinois, Indiana and as yet to identified other “I” place.  It may sound like I’m “hating on her” and I’m not.  I am in awe of the strangers, friends and acquaintances who have or come up with the money to travel widely and well – including my children.  Traveling has always been just out of reach for me.  (Plus I have used most of my vacation time to visit the family home of St. Louis – and, in the past ten years – Charlotte, where my daughter lives.)

The thought of writing a book with Illinois and Indiana and the as yet unidentified third “I”* as the places I’d go on a journey of self-discovery makes me laugh.  I feel a smidge of self-pity for a quick minute and then I move on. 

More serious than my lack of travel is my inability right now to  help a friend in need.  She works at a non-profit corporation and as a single-mom has been overwhelmed by bills developed when she moved from Roxbury to the suburbs because of gun shots in her door that were meant for someone else.  She likes her new place – but having to pay for heat and the additional gas that she uses to get to her job in Newton has overwhelmed her budget.  She is living on the edge. So she and her children are cold and have not yet had heat this winter.  I can scrape a couple of bucks together but it is not enough for even the minimum oil delivery.  She’s applied for fuel assistance and the one bit of fuel assistance that the town of Newton granted her was mistakenly placed in her neighbors’ tank.  The town will not give her another allotment, the neighbor won’t pay for the mistake and so she’s out-of-luck.

I have always given to as many causes and organizations (local, national, and internationally) as I can.  This year, needs are closer to home among friends.  The aforementioned friend is not the only friend without heat.  Both women work, both graduated from college, both are good people but they have not had money luck either.

It is strange to have some friends that travel, buy expensive baubles, drink top-shelf liquor, dine out often and expensively and at the same time have other friends who are living without heat and modest groceries.  In fact, every time I buy groceries, I buy a $10 gift card to Stop & Shop.  I am giving them as a surprise birthday gift for a friend’s mother who often runs out of money at the month and does without food. 

The world is full of people with less than any of the people in the situations described above.  I know this.  And I pray everyday for a more even distribution of resources.

I’ve been on a search to figure out how and why money was created.  It has always made me uncomfortable to ask for money blessings because the God that I believe in, created a world with enough goodies that money wasn’t needed.  It’s one of those things I’m struggling to understand  – how, in a world of abundance, so few have and so many have not.  I pray that I continue to find work to keep me afloat so that I can cover home base and continue to be generous to others.  In fact, I hope to have more money so I can do mo’ better for others.

So, I bought a lottery ticket because the jackpot was really big and I was able to use change from the bottom of my purse to fund it.  Wish me luck…specifically…money luck. 

*Iowa – the third I would be Iowa!

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

2 thoughts on “Having and Having Not

  • Anonymous

    Iowa indeed. “I”, the third “I” on your journey, if not the mystical one between your orbs, might very well be the endless mysteries and uncharted expanses of Me, Myself and “I”land – of which no woman is… and surely that’s enough puns for one comment!

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