Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Book To Ponder

"Angela's Ashes" is a well known memoir written by Frank McCourt. It was made into a motion picture in 1999 and many people have read or at least seen the movie. I haven't seen the movie and I plan on it once I've finished the book.

I always read on my lunch break at work. Since my sister let me borrow her seventh and final Harry Potter novel, I have been saviouring each word during my evenings in the comfort of my home. At work, I am constantly interrupted and I can only read for so long. So I am reading two books at the moment. The book "Angela's Ashes" aside from being well written and easy to get lost in, is such a distressing, raw tale of a young boy and his poor family struggling to make it in the world. They move from Boston trying to escape their poverty there after a sibling passes from hunger. Ending up in pre-war Limerick where it proves to be even worse for the family. Frank's Northern Irish father is snubbed and refused work because of where he's from. Not to mention each time he does get some money in his hands he hurries off to the pubs to drink it all away.

Sometimes it's hard to eat while I'm reading what kinds of conditions that they had to live in. The story has really lingered in my mind. I am still reading it and I can't help but think of those boys from time to time. As a kid I had so much and in comparison I was a total brat. Things have changed so much. Parents were so strict long ago and now when I see what kids are like, it's no wonder the old lady behind me is shaking her head. I understand why older folks look down on children now. Some kids are amazing and polite. But to be honest, children are little, brats that have cell phones at eight. I hope to raise my children in the times obviously. I won't refuse them television because young Frankie McCourt didn't have one back in Limerick. But, I want my kids to understand privilege and to be thankful for things, big and small.

This story has even made me look at myself and how I have everything. Some arguments with Rob are so petty when I think of Mrs. McCourt sending her two boys in and out of pubs to find her drunken husband that's drank all of their dole money away. Some people have everything and others have so little. I know that's how the world is, but I just hope that the people that have so much, the privileged, wealthy ones really look at how lucky they are. I'd love for everyone to have to read this book and see how fortunate they are.

As I was walking home from the gym I was thinking about how sweaty my feet were in my running shoes and my mind trailed back to the book. Most kids didn't have shoes at all and I know that most people have at least two pair. I am already so prosperous in just what I have right now. I do want more in my life, but at least I am in a place and time where I can yearn for more.

So now when I am feeling bored, or angry I can stop and question my feelings. I can think about people that are less fortunate and remember that things can always, always be worse.