The Value of a Ball? (A Chrismas Story)

Here is a short story from my life, an experience I had at an orphanage in Mexico I visited on Christmas one year in my youth that profoundly changed how I saw things in life after that.

You know what is truly “Wrong” with the Santa Claus wealth shaming, that some get all and all others barely get some, like a child of little means, one who can see clearly that Santa Claus is not fair to all children favoring the wealthy mainly to shower them with gifts one leaving little to those of little means.

One need not look far for this dark classism phantom as many children of wealth get more than all and if you think about it this is more an elite glorification while others must suffer the feeling of receiving little to nothing as gifts maybe Santa Claus just forgets the poor which could be thought to be exemplified with children in poverty.

See, children in poverty are not allowed to truly enjoy the dazzling lights of the holiday season as they truly are strangers in this rich man’s dream, where such strangers to the abundance of the wealthy, no, they have to look on with hopeful eyes and for the impoverished orphans there may not even a single gift they could call their own. They looked so hopeful for anything, there they were, before me, with nothing, or rather they only had the sad opportunity to share the one communal toy, a simple Ball.

A ball so Small and insignificant it was barely there at all. It was nothing special, plastic robbed from the earth with hands of selfishness and oppression to overcharge to what would later be the ball, the light and joy of the poverty destroyed orphanage the 15 to 30 children that were so overjoyed to get that one overpriced piece of air inflated plastic that is the ball.

I stood there crying as I shamefully had only thought to bring “ONE” lonely ball, just a sad piece of plastic to me but the world to them. At once I realized the truth we are all that matters not the ball, not the plastic nor the money, but people, the only ones with value all along.

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