A Gift in a Shoebox

Eager faces, dim smiles, waiting, with eyes focused on two huge boxes placed in-front of the green board. Until the moment, the teacher says, “one by one you can come and pick one”.

The drift of the tiny creatures, start moving one by one; boys on one side picking a gift box from the huge box and the girls on the other side. In couple of moments all the kids are back in their seats, all the kids are now holding tight to different shapes of gift boxes wrapped in different colors. The excitement on the faces rises and the time seems to stop until the last school bell rings before the Christmas vacation and the flow of kids leaving the school with happy faces as they carry gifts back home.

Toys and ornaments in shoeboxes sent overseas to those kids who are unfortunate in this world. Unfortunate in the eyes of strangers just for the fact of being born in this side of the world, in non-European and non-American countries. While those same kids were considered prestigious to their surrounding and fortunate to be going to this fancy school. Standards change and the same kids are vulnerable for some and prestigious for others.

Those kids enjoyed the small toys shipped to them in shoe boxes, read the letters inside and sometimes a photo came along from kids their age, or elderly, and religious people. Little did they know that they are the vulnerable group in this time of the year and those gifts are merely humanitarian gestures. Those kids, us, grew up and provides the same assistance for others, we are not the vulnerable in our own eyes and there are more unfortunate kids out there than us and those gifts were just an addition to the pile of toys. Toys to brag to the neighborhood kids about.

We grow, we see, we sense, we suffer the cruelty of this world, we try, we realize we were the vulnerable kids at some point, we fight for little change, but what can one do in so much cruelty, a smile drown on kids face for a day, sharing of the suffer of one day and then going back to a warm bed and safe home. 

We enjoy the holiday seasons, and those happy final days of the year, enjoy the last moments of the year. However, the hardest part is when the last of the year, is the last day of someone’s life. The last month of the year had turned into accumulation of memories and loss. 

Are we in denial mode? Are we the vulnerable ones? Are we born vulnerable? Are we made vulnerable? 

Whatever the answer is, back in the days, a wrapped shoebox always brought; happiness to our hearts and smiles to our faces, as we innocently accepted it without knowing that we are the vulnerable ones. In those days, our end of the year had become a box of memories, of passed faces, of feelings, of love, of heartache, and sensations. 

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