Are people still experiencing adversity today?

“The adventures of Pip” A story of overcoming adversity for children. By Megan Alder

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You think that in the 21st-century adversity has been squashed, but if you believe that your naive. You think, “The colored section no longer exists and we don’t keep slaves. People have finally gotten it together.”  Wrong! You may think, “The mentally disabled no longer have to endure the trauma of an asylum.” WRONG! You may even begin to think, “People who are below the poverty line do not get treated differently than people above it.” You would be wrong. 

I see you! I see you standing in line at the wal-mart help desk. Your a beautiful Hispanic mother of 3 very hyper kids. You look worn out. You’re returning an electronic toy, I can see it in your hand. There are a few people in front of you and the woman greeting them is all smiles and chipper. As it gets closer to your turn she spots you, you look at her. There is a second of snap judgments. As soon as it’s your turn her chipper attitude quickly turns robotic. Her voice is monotone as she rings you up and she barely makes eye contact. You remain calm and friendly as you try and keep a watchful eye on your kiddos. I can tell they want to go towards the claw machine with the stuffed animals. She hands you a return. You grab hold of their hands and steer them out the door. I see you and I applaud you for remaining vigilant. It’s not fair to you. 

I see you! I see you with an autistic son. He’s sitting in the parking lot of the bank. I came today to pay my bill and I spotted you. He’s upset and panicking. He’s moving his hands around and crying loudly. Something must have triggered him. Maybe it was the loud traffic by the road. Maybe it was a sensory issue and he doesn’t like the new shirt he’s wearing. Maybe he got frustrated that you told him no. I watch as other people walk into the bank. I overhear a woman say, “Maybe if parents these days spanked their kids more they wouldn’t be spoiled brats.” WOW! I see the look on your face. You overheard her, didn’t you? You’re heartbroken. They don’t understand and it’s not fair they judged you and your precious little boy. They don’t know the daily struggle you both deal with. The last thing you should have to deal with is whispers and looks of disgust. It’s not fair mama but hold on. You’re doing great. I see you. 

I see you. I see you at the self check out. It’s packed in here. Your total comes to $23.54 but you only have a $20. In your bag is milk, bread, sandwich meat, and a box of little Debbies. You call the self check out lady over to remove the box of cakes. Your little girl tugs on your shirt. She motions for you to bend down. She whispers in your ear but I can hear her. “Mommy I really wanted something sweet. It’s been a while. Please.” She pats her daughter’s head in comfort and continues to ask the lady to remove the item. She has priorities. I admire that. Food comes before sweets. Way to go mama. I wish I was rich. I would hand you stacks of money but instead, I opt-in to give her a $20. She looks grateful and embarrassed. I didn’t mean to embarrass her.  I was in her shoes growing up. Sometimes I still find myself in those shoes. From one struggling human to the next, it was a gift. Then I turn around and notice people are staring and whispering. Disgusted she is poor, that I gave her money. That she couldn’t get the little Debbies for her daughter. You’re doing good mama. Don’t give up. Feeling sad I leave. 

Adversity is everywhere. Sometimes it may come from you. We have to do better! That’s why I am a writer. An author/illustrator for children’s books. I wanna raise awareness to the blaring problems we still face, yet no one is talking about cause it makes them uncomfortable. We need to change our mindsets FOR our children. The future of this world depends on it. Through my books, I help children find their self worth no matter what walk of life they come from. 

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