Sunday, November 1, 2009
REFLECTIONS ON A RAINY DAY
I am writing the following blog as if the events occurred today even though they actually happened four days ago. I had this blog all typed up and ready to post when I realized that I had been kicked off the website. I am having to re-type the entire thing but am still going to write is as if it happened today.
It is pouring down rain on our fifth day in Buzios. We had plans to take a boat tour around the local islands. Yesterday's plans to take a water taxi were canceled last minute so we were really looking forward to some time on the water. There is no place I would rather be, than cruising on a boat in the open sea, with the wind blowing in my face. I can thank my parents for my love of the water. I am disappointed that the weather is not cooperating, but I am hopeful that we will have one more chance tomorrow (our last day in Buzios) to hop on boat.
I woke up early this morning to go for a walk in the rain. I love to start my day off by taking in some fresh air by myself and having time to think and pray. For some crazy reason I find this alone time even more appealing when it is raining! I threw on my new, hard to find sweatshirt, and headed outside for what turned out to be a very reflective walk.
Buzios is a town for the rich. I mentioned in my last blog that the streets are lined with boutiques filled with expensive inventory. There are a couple of ritzy, all night dance clubs where the young people mingle. As I was walking down the boardwalk I ran across one of these young patrons. He was quite obviously drunk and struck up a conversation with me. I listened politely as he talked about his families successful furniture business, and then made my exit as soon as was possible.
A few yards further, a young couple dressed in fancy clothes was getting into a shiny, black, BMW. I could only assume that they had also been drinking by the way they pealed out on the wet, cobblestone street. The man driving was oblivious to the bystanders in uniform whom he just sprayed with water. I said a quick prayer that the young man would wreck his precious BMW but that no one would be harmed. That may sound harsh, but I have no tolerance for drinking and driving. Risking your own life is one thing, but risking the lives of innocent people is quite another, so I prayed that the young couple would learn a lesson on this rainy day.
Those uniformed people, that got a shower of rain water, happened to be the daily cleaning crew. They are out early every morning making sure this tourist town is presentable. They clean up litter and sweep the streets. Litter is a big problem in Brazil and it is not uncommon to see cleaning crews in high tourist areas. As I watched them hard at work I could not help but think about the dichotomy I was witnessing between two different classes of people. The wealthy party goers were enjoying themselves, leaving a wake of garbage in their paths. The cleaning crew was out there picking up after them for what I assume is minimum wage. It was almost as if the wealthy people had a sense of entitlement-expecting people to clean up their beer bottles and cigarette butts. This really bothered me.
I realize I am making a generalization. Not all rich people has a sense of entitlement. I have had nice things in my life, and I know several rich people who are very humble and generous. It is not bad to have nice things. I think it is the heart and attitude behind those things. It is my opinion that drinking and driving, as well as littering and expecting other people to pick up after you, reflect a sense of entitlement and an attitude of being better than other people. There was such a sharp contrast between these two groups of people that I had to write down my thoughts.
By the way...as I continued down the boardwalk I ran into that black BMW again: It was turned sideways on that narrow cobblestone street with its bumper smashed against the curb! I admit that I had to smile as I walked on by. No one was hurt, but that precious car was a little worse for the wear! Prayer answered!
Oh, one more thing. When I got home I was reading my bible and came across the following passage. Coincidence? Maybe, but I don't think so.
The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.