Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I threw on my blue sweatpants, white polyester-lined snow boots, a sweatshirt, my gloves, a winter coat and stepped outside. Large chunks of snow swirled around me as I looked on to completely covered street. The wind was blowing but the atmosphere was eerily silent. I started across the street, toward the park. SUVs crept by, breaking the strange silence haunting my mind. It makes me think back to that old question. "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" How selfish can we be to think that the world does not exist and continue on while we aren't around. Berkeley, there's always someone/ thing to perceive.

I digress...

I walked down the street as the fury of the snow grew stronger around me. Coming closer to my goal I veered off the sidewalk towards the creek, glistening beneath the gray blur. I pulled a camera out of my pocket and snapped a few pictures until my camera died. I walked back across the street, stopped to observe the couple holding hands in the snow and the children making a snowman in the driveway. Soon after, I walked upstairs, threw off my clothes started to grill some chicken for tacos and sat at my computer.

It's interesting how I'm poor, but not. I can go outside when I want to and admire nature and come back inside and admire it from the safety of my own room. Other people hate it because they have to live out there. What are the standards of poverty? What should I compare it to? Is it about comparing? If I compare it to Montclair, I'm poor as heck. Compared to Essex County, still kinda poor. Compared to the US. Not so much, but you have to take into affect income vs. cost of living. Compared to the world, I'm nowhere near poor. At least, that's what I'm assuming. The thing is, if you are constantly comparing, isn't there always someone poorer? Sure your annual income is two dollars and you have to feed yourself and two kids but what about the woman who has to feed herself, her husband and five kids on one dollar, annually.

Is it right to compare yourself to people? It's like the people who I've met after they've immigrated to the U.S. They are busboys or cleaning people and I ask them what it was like back in their own country. They then shock me by telling me they owned two bars or had their own business doing what they love and were making a decent amount of money relative to their country. Some people were better off in their own country than I've ever been in my life. If that's the case, why come here? Is there a difference between "well-off" and poor? Maybe it doesn't matter if you are poor if you are well-off. Maybe that's what I am.

I don't even want to imagine the gap between the richest person and the poorest. It's disgusting and quite frankly, strange. I can barely imagine how people can afford a three bedroom apartment and a car, even less, a mansion for all of your favorite countries. I guess, once again, it all boils down to appreciating what you have, not wasting it and sharing what you can.


Later, my friend sent me this site. It tells you your international income rank. I am the 692,914,400 richest person in the world. Check it out:

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