I hope you’ll allow me this chance to gush.
I picked up my stepdaughter last Friday and, as we were driving home, we were talking about Christmas and how my husband and I want to give presents to people who actually need them. That’s how the subject of poverty came up. I tried to steer the conversation to a lighter topic, but she started asking me all these questions about how other people live.
She asked if everyone has food and clothes, and whether all kids go to school. When I said ‘no’, she didn’t understand:
“Why can’t school be free?”
“Why don’t people have food?”
“What happens to them if they don’t have food?”
“Why don’t they just move away from the poor cities? Why don’t they just come here?”
“Why do we even need money?”
These were tough questions and there were a few times when I had to say I didn’t know, and that they were complicated issues. But from her seven-year-old point of view, they weren’t hard questions at all. In her opinion, we live in a place that has more than enough and there’s no reason we can’t share.
I tried to explain about governments and greed; she still didn’t accept it. She suggested that Canada starts a “Share Day” where we give half of what we have to poor countries. When I applauded her idea, she said we should go tell the Canadian government. I told her that you can’t just go talk to them, you have to write letters. “Well then everyone should write letters,” she said plainly.
She also said that maybe she would be “a government” one day, and just make everything fair. Easy peasy.