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It is the empty engulfing nothing that makes you like you are. The nothing that makes you work hard, obey rules, hurt others for the good of yourself. The fear of the empty nothing, of the future, of your life, that makes you who you are. The fear of being someone who you don’t want to be- standing in a place that you can’t stand; with people who can hardly stand on their own two feet.

You think that it will make you happy, comfortable and that everything will suddenly become okay with those pieces of paper in your bank. With your pocket that little bit heavier as you walk along the pavement- past those people, those poor, poor people.

The opposite side of the road a man walks slowly; watches the birds and listens to their songs, smiles at you. His pockets are not heavy and he does not stop at the bank- for his money is not in his bank. A piece of paper falls free from his back pocket: bank-statement.

You cross the road to pick it up, maybe chase after him if it doesn’t scuff your new shoes- 100 dollars, give or take a few. You bend to catch it between your fingers and bring it close to your little pinprick eyes. You read the scrawled handwriting, names and surnames, 3 names give or take a few, in a list flowing down the page meaning nothing to you. You flip the paper over and count the withdrawals, 3 give or take a few, each worth more than you know.

You don’t understand. How can you ever understand what they are worth? Your brain cannot comprehend that somewhere in the world...

A little girl is able to sit with her mother and father, gazing at their faces, gazing at the exquisite sky which bathes the wondrous sun in its royal blue ocean. She can see the wind rustling through the trees, how the leaves bend and sway like a twisting melody around the wind. Staring and staring through new eyes, viewing the world in a new light. She can see the envelope on her lap and she can see the tears glistening on her cheeks and she is happier than any feeling you know of.

A class of 60 children can feast their little eyes on new textbooks, they can finally learn, finally. They can feel the excitement rushing through them as the smooth paper meets their soft little palms. They can finally smile knowing that their future is that much brighter, is that much happier. A group of little kids in the corner vow to become doctors- they want to help people. Their dreams are that much closer, to them their dreams are as close as that envelope in their crying, smiling teacher’s hands. Their dreams mean more to them than any dream you ever got.

A woman steps outside and breathes for the first time- really breathes, knowing that her son will receive the treatment he needs to live. He is only 20, girlfriend, children one day and he will teach those children to be the best of humankind. The very best of humankind: so his life is not wasted. She clutches the envelope to her chest and thanks the skies and cries and cries through those tired eyes.

Somewhere in the world a man sits with a glass of red wine, with his mistress, eating something put in front of them by some waiter. He gets up, pays the bill- 130 dollars, give or take a few, forgets to say thank-you and leaves.

Or maybe he sits there and thinks why the wine is so expensive, why the mistress seems so glum and why the waiter looks as if he could do with a good tip...Maybe...

But he still gets up...still leaves a mess on the table for someone else to clean up.



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