"How Much is That?"
If you walk throughout Seattle, you will see there are a plethora of homeless people. According to Wikipedia there are about 8000 people without housing each night. Why do so many homeless people flock to Seattle? The resources. Seattle puts in millions of dollars to tackle the problem of homelessness.
Yesterday, I was on my way home from getting a computer charger (more on that later). I went to Target right near Pike's Place Market downtown. While I was buying the charger, the game Monopoly caught my eye. I wanted a game for the apartment and it was on sale for really cheap, so I bought it. I was walking to Westlake to take the iconic monorail train home when a little boy on a skateboard came up to me and asked me about the game. He was sort of dirty and wearing some ratty pajamas pants and shirt.
"What's that?" The boy asked.
"It's monopoly. It's board game." I responded
He pointed to the age requirement of 8+
"I'm only 7. I can't play."
"Sorry little man. Maybe next year you can buy the game and play. It's a lot of fun. What grade are you in?"
"Second. Are you a kid or an adult?"
"I'm an adult. I'm 18."
"How much is the game?"
"my daddy has 20"
"What is your name little guy?"
"Nice to meet you Steve."
"Can we play the game?"
We were on a big sidewalk that has playground and an outdoor table tennis table and a foosball table.
"Unfortunately, I need to go home. I have to go to rehearsal because I'm dancing."
His dad came over to get a drink since he was playing table tennis.
"Son, he ain't opening that up."
Then another kid from behind asked about monopoly.
"How much is that?"
"12 dollars at Target." I responded
"I'm older than 8, I want it. My mom loves monopoly."
"What's your name buddy?"
"My name is Ricky, what's yours?"
"Matt. Why aren't you at school?"
"Steve and I are brothers. We are in homeschool but we haven't started since the computers aren't available. Can you come back tomorrow to play?"
"I would love to but I can't, I have to dance."
"Well I have to go home. Good luck in school."
They looked like they were in a tough position in life with money. Little kids their age worrying about money is crazy. I had no concept of money when I was seven. I did not need to know the concept of money that early in life, but clearly he did. It got me really thinking about how privileged I am now and when I grew up. I was raised in the city, so I have seen a lot of stuff most people only see on the news, but for some reason the conversation with those kids struck a different chord in me.
I have realized that when you move away from home you begin to see the reality of life. Financial woes and homelessness is a big part of Seattle and to see it first hand is tough. Yes, part of this journey is me trying to dance professionally, but I think the other part of my journey is more important, which is the development of myself. This encounter really helped me step back for a minute and just to remember what I have. Do not forget the blessings in life (RULE 24). This is a very hard rule to have, but I believe it is a rule more people should have. What is ironic is that the game, Monopoly is all about money and dominating other players with wealth.
What are your reactions to my encounter? Do you have a story like mine to share? Please comment below. I would love to hear from you.
For more info on homelessness in Seattle and they programs offered in Seattle, you can go here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_Seattle