The poem begins with, “Scorn ye not man’s humble trade…. For honest work brings honest wages…. We only need enough for our daily bread…. Life is short; we leave behind faint illegible traces.” The poem implores the reader to judge not a person by his or her occupation. The person’s character or lack thereof will uplift or indict the person soon enough.
But in the world, people stay intoxicated with labels, drunk with titles, People with no titles get stuck in the rut of peasantry. These peasants work in domestics – mundane, menial, and mental-less labor, what upwardly mobile young people call “no-brainer” jobs. Often their work settings demean human dignity, erode self-esteem, and cut them to sub-human status.
I can hear the coconut husk scrubbers scraping the cotton threads strung tautly on a Tagudan stretch easel. From the top of the roll the scrubber engages the threads and pulls in a downward motion – up and down, two hands with scrubbers alternating. The rendered threads dry in the bright sun then gathered to be spun. Given to a weaver at the loom, soon a colorful blanket or richly designed sheet of cloth emerges. The cycle goes on. The woman embraces her daily occupation without emotion. Life must go on.
For the bright child born into this peasantry who wishes to attend school this scenario must seem rather tedious and non-challenging. The child would have a point. Weaving takes manual labor and the child dreams of science and mathematics. She sees a spider’s web in geometric designs and admires the advancing dark clouds heavy with rain. She wants to know why eggplant is purple and cucumber is green. This child doesn’t accept that is all to life. She wants more.
Watching the child grow I feel a strong urge to help her realize her dream. What will it take to free her mind – a mind-set anchored in poverty and given to despair? A spark of hope glimmers behind her mental and emotional curtain of anxiety, worry, and angst caused by the most basic of human needs – hunger. I ask you dear friend, would you join me and others help this child attend school? So that she can meet and realize her full potential, let us together get behind the mission to help these bright kids who come from poor families attend high school through financial aid. DONATE to the scholarship fund today.