This week we will make an earnest attempt to bring clarity to a term that is diametrically opposed to the fad of having an abundance. The word this week is SUFFICIENCY. SUFFICIENCY as defined by Webster’s dictionary means to meet one’s needs : competency; also : a modest but adequate scale of living. There is nothing flashy about having enough. The fact that you paid your rent or mortgage goes unrecognized month after month. Often times when we have been sufficiently accommodated it goes underappreciated, unrecognized, and unknown. SUFFICIENCY serves in anonymity and cannot be adequately compensated for the sacrifice.
One of my earliest affinities was derived from my often absent father’s ability to cook an awesome steak. I developed a want for meat with every meal. The responsibility for putting food both in the refrigerator and on the table ultimately fell to my mother. Nearing the end of the month we would find ourselves eating more vegetables and less meat. I being a constant consumer and never if ever a contributor to the family meal, felt it was my duty to complain. Upon one of these occasions my mother with grace decided to give me an attitude adjustment in the form of a physical, verbal and dutiful reprimand. After the smack for being ungrateful was delivered with laser precision and the verbal tongue lashing handed out with the exactness of an oratorical giant, she determined that I would serve the needy by delivering Thanksgiving and Christmas boxes to underprivileged families in the neighborhood where she served as the Director of the YWCA. The facility was aptly named “The Center” for it was the center of activity for the community. If only it was placed in the center of the community I might not have grumbled so but, it was neatly placed at the bottom of the hill and in order to deliver boxes I had to load a shopping cart with the goods and push it to the addresses supplied by my mother and her crew of volunteers. The boxes were filled with canned goods, rice, cake and cornbread mixes and yes even turkeys and hams. Under great direst I delivered those boxes throughout the neighborhood, making multiple trips up and down that hill. It would have been unbearable if it were not for the occasional ride down the hill on the back of the shopping cart. On the year in question I remember going home to yet another meal with no meat. I dared to show my disdain by asking the woman who had worked all day insuring that other families had a good Thanksgiving dinner, why she didn’t get us some of that meat? I don’t know if it was because I was out of swinging distance when I said it or she was simply too tired to throw anything but her response haunts me still. She calmly stated that some of the people that I saw today would assuredly find it difficult to put together a square meal until the next time they saw me delivering a box. I delivered those boxes every year until I was old enough to leave home.
Somebody Shoulda Told Me That a stomach full is a stomach full when you are hungry. I will be forever grateful for her lesson on SUFFICIENCY. It has served as a constant reminder to be grateful for what you have.
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