A little girl too small for her age; scared, not shy; and lacking virtually all formal education, she probably never realized how much she could teach.

She appreciated what so many of us take for granted: eating every night, for example.

That’s not a given. Not in her country. Not here in the United States. Not in Texas. Not in El Campo, Texas.

Of course, we don’t like to talk about things like that. Instead, we grab another restaurant menu, dropping enough cash on a single meal to feed at least one person for a week.

Do we ever bother to teach the youth of our community anything like that? Or do we just laugh, buy them another iPhone and figure they’ll learn about hunger right around the time they’re either in college or on their own and have to decide between eating Ramen noodles for a week or losing their live streaming service?

Or do we figure on sending them a big enough allowance through their 40s that they won’t have to worry about anything other than the cost of designer jeans?

“Hey moms I, like, ya know, like, need more, like, funds for my debit card. They’re serving steak and lobster for free, but, dude, it’s like they, like, don’t know I like chicken nuggets? Oh, and they’re serving like this green twig stuff with it. No fries. I’m like starving here.”

How much?

“Well, like, just a couple hundred should be okay this week, or maybe you could just pay my rent?”

Sound familiar to anybody?

I’m not really the go-out-there-and-save-the-world type person, but I had to wonder how that little girl would feel knowing just how much we throw away or ignore on any given day.

That’s not to say I’m not guilty, although I hope not to the same extent as a good many others.

Or perhaps I’m blind too.

Manna Meals, Thou Shall Not Hunger, Blessing Cup, Meals On Wheels, Blessings In a Back Pack and a good number of organizations are right here in this county. They exist for a reason – in the land of plenty.

This is beginning to sound a whole lot more preachy than I mean it to be.

It’s simply my thoughts on a few moments Monday, moments that came right about the time I was ready to moan, groan and curse about my lot in life.

Ready, that is, until I heard a story about a little girl.

Despite all the aggravations of the day, I don’t generally have to worry about my next meal, where I’m going to sleep, if I have clothes or even if I am going to survive on any given day. That’s more rare in this world than we generally think.

Now if I can just get rid of the Pink Floyd lyrics in my head...

“On the turning away

From the pale and downtrodden

And the words they say

Which we won’t understand.

“Don’t accept that what’s happening

Is just a case of others’ suffering

Or you’ll find that you’re joining in

The turning away.”


What are you going to do?




– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.

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