A Different World Down Below

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While in Mexico City
over Christmas
vacation,
we stayed in a
high-rise hotel.

Adjacent to us was
a large lot
which was essentially
empty
except for a tiny
shack
leaning up against
a wall,
which housed
a family
of meager means
by American standards.

One day while gazing
out the window,
the family below
caught sight of us
and, all smiles,
waved
enthusiastically.

We smiled
and waved back.

Henceforth,
the waving became
part of our daily
routine.

I liked to imagine
the family
owned the land,
would sell it
one day
for a pile of pesos
and move into a
bigger house.

On the other hand,
they seemed
perfectly content
right where they were.

At age eleven
it occurred to me
for perhaps the
first time,
possessions
are not required
to be happy
or to live richly.

One thought on “A Different World Down Below

  1. Americans don’t really know poor until they visit a foreighn country.
    When I went down Tobacco Road in Ga. I thought I saw poor until
    I went to Viet Nam.

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