Long before recent memes showing the difference between equality and equity came out, I realized they were different, even if I could not articulate it. As a child in a family that barely scraped by in Communist Viet Nam, I saw adult and child beggars, and understood they needed more help than my family, with the child beggars needing even more since nobody took care of them as my Parents took care of me. I remember asking my Mom to help feed some children beggars, to whom I could relate more than the adult beggars in being a child, while rarely asking her to help the adult beggars, all the while not realizing how vulnerable we actually were ourselves. My poor Mom was torn between the compassion she saw in me, and her inability to always show that compassion at the expense of our family’s survival, while unwilling to tell me the full and true nature of our family’s situation to justify this.
What’s the best thing you can give someone? Love? Time? Kindness? There’s no answer to that question that is 100% correct, but I’m going to make a case for a chance because it could represent all those other things, while allowing someone to form part of their identity to someone else.
Growing up, the thing I wanted the most often was a chance to do something, for which I was often denied. Sometimes this was for good reasons like lack of family finances. Other times, it was not, like discrimination on my ethnicity or small stature. However, I was fortunate to have been given the chance to do a lot of things, many of which I didn’t ask for, but for which I am most grateful. That’s why when I saw a quote in my early 20s stating the best thing you can give someone is a chance, unsourced, I embraced it as a life philosophy. It generally worked well, except one question irked me. What if nobody gave me a chance to do what I wanted, whether nobody present to do so, or nobody because someone denied me the chance?
I had written about 100 quotes and posted them over the years on this blog. I’m back at it again with another bunch over the next few weeks that I had written since I last posted some.
This is how I differentiate between living and existing.