19 May 2008

As bad as it could be...

I filled up yesterday and I paid $3.79 a gallon, for regular. When the pump stopped ticking my money away, the damage came to $72.02. "My God." I thought.

To say I wasn't happy is putting it mildly.

The whole time I stood at the pump and stared at my money disappearing, I found myself in my usual rage over the oil companies. This was so unfair. These rich bastards are making quarterly profits that are bigger than the Gross Domestic Product of hundreds of countries! Now they wanted my money too! It just wasn't fair! I was pretty pissed.

Then I oddly thought of a woman that I saw on the cover of the newspaper today. It was the woman in the picture accompanying this post. The picture was a little different but the woman is the same. In the picture I saw, she was alone, kneeling and crying and the caption said that her daughter had died.

Her DAUGHTER had died in the recent earthquake.

Her DAUGHTER had died.

My gas cost me $72 dollars... and her DAUGHTER died.

My children were home, safe and sound with their mother. I was with them just a few minutes later. We had spaghetti for dinner. It was pretty good... and her DAUGHTER died.

It is so very easy to overlook your blessings. For me, I suppose I get pissed off just a tad bit more than the average person. I'll be the first person to tell you that I can be a bit of a jerk sometimes. If you've read my blog before, I'm sure you'll agree with that. But, yesterday I really allowed myself to take in the good fortune that I have.

These gas prices will not be the end of my life. $4, $5 even $6 a gallon will not be the end of my life. I won't really feel any pain from it. All that may happen to me may be... I won't be buying an X-Box 360 or a flat screen HD television this year [or next]; I may have to get rid of my SUV and buy a neat lil'hybrid; I may have to give up $200 Hugo Boss shoes and buy $60 Kenneth Cole's instead; I may have to stop fussing over $7 cooking oil and $6 a gallon milk. But, God willing I'll still have my wife and kids. I'll have what is really important to me.

I have to remember to practice what I try to preach to my kids... I have to remember that I'm a citizen of the world and not just a citizen of my town, state and country. With 100,000 dead and dying in cyclone ravaged Myanmar and 50,000 feared dead in parts of earthquake shattered China, and dozens and dozens of families left homeless in the central plains of the United States after weeks of tornadoes - My Problems don't seem as bad as I sometimes think they are.

Now, I'm a little less worried about my next trip to Citgo.



Charming said...


lacochran said...

Well put!

Angie-Nuvision said...

TTBM: I always love your post!
I've also been trying to do better at keeping my eyes locked on how blessed I am.
Yes, I've been pissed about these gas prices too. Here in Houston, gas is also $3.79 by my crib. But instead of getting pissed this particular time when we had to fill up the Maxima, I thanked God that I even had the money too pay for it, that I even had a car. So many people, in this country we call the great US, cannot afford the gas prices. But I can. I decided to use the energy I was using to bitch and moan to pray for the less fortunate.

This makes me think of how I used to go to Krogers and Wal-Mart and frown up and turn my nose up at the cashier everytime they would quote me an outrageous price for my few little items. I thought about how ridiculous it is for me, someone that makes the amountof money I make, to frown up at these ladies and men that are working as cashiers, knowing two things: They are not responsible for the prices of the items in the store. They are victims just like me. And secondly, they are making far less than me. So, they are really feeling the crunch of rising prices.
Nope, I'm not banking like no baller or nothing. But the fact is that I am making more than average, working class folks. They don't in any way deserve to look at my damn frowning face. If anything, I should greet them with a smile, thank them for their service, and pray God's best for them as they try to take care of their families in this failing economy.

God bless you, TTBM. I haven't been on the block because of some personal issues. My crib caught on fire and I was displaced for a few months. But now I'm back. So, I'll be coming over here to holla atcha.

Peace and blessings,

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey CHARMING! Thanks for leaving a comment!

LACHOCHRAN - Thanks for reading!!!

Hey ANGIE - It's been a while! I'm glad to see your comment and I'm sorry to hear about the fire. Those are great points you've made - I need to be more aware of some of my smirks and frowns when I go shopping too! I'll be checking your blog out ASAP!!!

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there!

I love that you said:
I have to remember to practice what I try to preach to my kids... I have to remember that I'm a citizen of the world and not just a citizen of my town, state and country.

This is very important to model for black children, especially. I can not tell you how many black women and black men who are not well informed about what is happening in the global economy and can not even name ten presidents on the continent of Africa!

Continue to model this principle to your children - and to others who read your blog!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Bethany said...

Very well written and eloquent post. I think we can all use a reminder every once in a while of what is truly important in life. It's just too bad that it takes a tragedy to do that.

Thanks for visiting my blog!