I live in a gated colony of houses. The colony has a good park with sand pit and swings in it. When Venky was a toddler, I would take him there in the evenings. A few other kids of his age would also be playing in the sand with their sand toys.
One of the perks of staying in a house is that they come with external servant rooms. Many people in our colony have resident domestic helps. Some have both the spouses working for them and hence staying with their whole family. Often, I would find the kids from these families playing in the sand pit too. These kids were a little older but the bright and shiny sand toys of the affluent kids attracted them and they took the chance of getting to share them with the other kids. These older kids would often guide the toddlers into making bigger castles. Many times, the “owner” kids were wounded up early by their mothers or nannies and these under privileged kids had to let go of the toys mid-way their castle building exercise.
One evening, Venky and other kids were playing with their toys as usual. The under privileged kids arrived with a bag. They emptied their bag in the sand. A number of disposable plastic cups and glasses fell from it. Probably, a resident had had a party and these were the left over unused disposable cutlery. They stared making their castles using these as their casts.
The rich kids were curious and excited now. They abandoned their expensive toys and bee lined to be able to play with the plastic cutlery. The poor kids welcomed them. There were enough plastic glasses for everyone to use as casts. With symmetrical casts and many hands the castle turned out to be large and beautiful.
As the dusk fell, the toddlers were made to wrap up from the sand pit and headed home while the other kids continued to work on their castle uninterrupted. As Venky bragged to his dad about the big castle he and his friends made, I had my first hand lesson from life – Giving is not a function of your economic status. It is not a privilege that only the rich and mighty have. Sharing is human. The poor kids were large hearted enough to share their finds with the “have all” kids and the affluent kids were humble enough to ask for it. The kids felt no shame, no discomfort in this reverse give and take. It just came so naturally to them. A reminder that all of us are born equal. All of us deserve the same respect.