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addendum: more thanks, and thoughts

December 2, 2009

I was talking with Alejandro again tonight about his life. He’s told me stories about life in Cuba, and his rather harrowing adventures both being there and getting here. The absurd things he’s been in jail for. How many Cubans have to resort to illegal activities if they want to have food and clothes for the family. He only sees his family every few years now. He sends money home sometimes, because while grad students aren’t exactly rich we’re a hell of a lot better off than most Cubans.

And I’m thankful that I was lucky enough to be born here, in America. That I can afford to fly home to see my family a few times a year, and Mom always slips me a twenty or buys me some clothes while I’m there.

It motivates me, though. Yes, I’m glad I wasn’t born in Cuba. But my friend was. And his family is still there. And Cubans are hardly the only people with problems. With no money and not enough food and shoes only sometimes. As thankful as I am that I got lucky, I try to express it mostly to motivate me to DO something about it. If Alejandro has enough money to send some to his family, then I certainly have enough to give to charities now and again. I can find a way to volunteer that fits in with my life right now. I can continue to harass legislators to fund things that are important to me. I have the resources TODAY to be a positive force in the world, not in ten or twenty years when my ship comes in.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 3, 2009 4:33 am

    FWIW, I have long supported the end of the embargo against Cuba. It made a lot more sense during the Cold War, but now it comes across as a rather pathetic remnant of rampant ideology trumping common sense and human decency.

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