Looking down over the city, she almost had a sense of what rich people, the ones controlling the country, must see. People rushing around in beat up old trucks, their day-to-day mundane activities of no consequence to the world surrounding them. Lugging their many children, dressed in clothes 2 sizes too small, over to their abuelas trailer, while single mothers rush off to a low-paying job at the local Wal-Mart. The Indians struggle with the success of the casinos, knowing that they will never again feel what the land feels, that they have become what they feared the most – just as greedy as the white man who oppresses them.
But then she is reminded of what makes these people so special. The clean air, sweet with the smell of roasting chiles, of tamales steaming in corn husks. The sound of lively music fills the valley, a mixture of cultures that has created its own way of life. The people, though poor, know what is important in life – family, and generosity, and taking care of their fellow man.
The politicians and corporate giants have it all wrong, she thought. They don’t know what they’re missing. They’re not living; they stay holed up inside their mansions, their gated communities, trying to keep the rest of the people out. What kind of life is that? Not the life for me. I would rather be poor and happy than wealthy and alone.
Kelly Stover (Princeton, NJ, USA)