Monday, July 03, 2006

Broken Umbrella

Nothing reminds me more of poverty and shame than a broken umbrella from my childhood memory.

When I grew up, my family was especially poor due to the fact that both of my parents came from rural areas and they had endless visitors coming to seek hlep and relatives to support financially back at home town. Although the whole courntry was poor, I know mine was probably slightly more so compared to people I know in the city. So I felt it.

When it rained, we usually could not have enough umbrella to share, and many times, it was broken.

For the longest time, I could not even touch a broken umberlla, less to say hold it above me for others to see. It was vain, but it was also real pain.

The reason I tought of this is that the one I was using today was broken. The storm was coming, it was windy, but humidity was gone, blown away. It was a beautiful night, the type I like. I opened the umbrella, it was broken, but still usable. It was tiny, so I like it and too lazy to buy a new one.

I held it above me while walking uptown along Columbus avenue. The wind made the umbrella tuning this way and that. I found it actually funny and amusing. I held it persistently above my head and the rain drops was too scarce to be harmful. So my broken and tiny umbrella worked just fine.

I suddenly realized that I had overcame that shame of holding a broken umbrella above myself. I was ok with it. I am grown up enough to not care about what people thinking of me.

The shame that was too big when you were a child, might not be as a big deal when you become an adult. It is a relief, but also an important lesson--a child's heart is so vulnverable that extra care has to be taken to protect it and guide it.

How much baggage we carry from our childhood, maybe through the rest of our lives?

I am glad I have thrown away the one about the broken umbrella.

One step a time for all of us.

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