Earlier this week I had the opportunity to deliver science projects to homebound third graders. It was a joy to watch their excitement. Sometimes, when I pull up to their house in the short school bus, they see me through a window and bound outside to greet me. Their little faces light up as if it were Christmas and I’m Santa driving my reindeerless sleigh. Of course, not all children receive their assignments with such enthusiasm. For a few, it’s as if I’m interrupting something of much more importance.
I see lots of things as I deliver schools supplies to children learning at home during these times of COVID-19. I feel like what stands out the most is the diversity among living conditions. I’ve delivered supplies to children living in the most elaborate mansions with breathtaking vistas as well as to children living in motel rooms and domiciles resembling a broken down, drafty and leaky shed. And as you can likely imagine, I make deliveries to children living in homes between these extremes. I find these inequalities alarming. What I also find alarming is that these living conditions of varying integrity, cleanliness, and monetary value do not define the nature of the people living within them.
Maybe I found myself alarmed because I still have a residual delusional belief that financial prosperity equates with happiness. Nevertheless, I’ve once again been offered conflicting evidence.