Our world is concerned about the economic situation affecting almost every country in the planet. From the most powerful country to the most vulnerable, the citizens are sitting in the uncertainty about their future. Families are looking at ways to provide for themselves and their loved ones so they look at pulling up stakes and moving to other countries which they think would give them a better chance at realizing their dreams. If the opportunity occurs so that we are allowed to live in these countries of seeming opportunity, we end up living in the cities with its noise and air pollution, a place where innocence is not protected and stress is the name of the game. We leave quiet countrysides where picking an orange from a tree is the norm, for picking through old, expensive fruit from the shelves of supermarkets.
As I observe these things – I being one who immigrated away from the orange trees, through my parents who offered us a better life – I think of all the things we could do in our own lands to improve the economy there.
I am reminded of when I was three years old and my dad took me to the beach. It was his responsibility to look after me as my mom was doing house work and needed me from under her feet. My dad had a game planned with his friends that Sunday and did not want to miss it so he took me with him. When we got to the beach, he realized that he could not find a safe place to put me; one of his friends suggested that he put me in the sea as I would be safe there. I could not run away. My father, always susceptible to the advice of his friends agreed that I could not run away if I was in the sea. He forgot that at three years old I was also not a good swimmer. They looked around and found an old cricket bat and hung me on it. In time I fell asleep hanging over the bat. I woke up with a start to find that my feet were dangling in the water and to my horror, I could not see my dad, and everyone on the beach seemed to have moved far away from me; I was drifting out to sea.
I panicked. I called for my dad. When I did not hear a reply, I looked around and as I looked at the bat, I thought the bat was the culprit. It was taking me away from my dad!
What could I do to keep this from happening?
Inspiration hit! I could get rid of the bat! There was the moment when I knew that the decision I had made was a mistake, but I could not go back. It was too late.
“Daddy!” I screamed, as I went down, head first into the turquoise, blue water of the sea, the bubbles rushing past me on their way to the surface. My mouth filling with the briny water cutting off my scream. I blacked out.
I am not sure how I got to shore, or who rescued me. What I remember is being carried on my dad’s shoulders, home and my mom nagging my dad for getting salt water into my hair after she had just washed it.
Pushing away the thing that was keeping me secure – the cricket bat, put me in danger, almost losing my life, needing to be rescued. We tend to see the grass greener on the other side, in the next country, when we get there we realize that it may not be so great after all.
At this time, people are leaving the crowded cities and escaping to the rural parts of the Caribbean, Italy, South and Central America, now being considered prime places, with real estate as much as and sometimes more expensive than a house in Vancouver or Sidney or Texas. They are picking oranges from the trees and eating our pasta, freshly made; moving into the homes and communities we pushed away to move to places we think promise more than we had.
Maybe it’s time to go back in order to move forward. Maybe we need to start making money from the places we are abandoning. The world is now wide open. The family of man is becoming closer. This could be the way to heal the world’s economic situation and create lasting abundance.