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Listen

Posted By Tim Glenn On April 21, 2008 @ 1:21 am In Children in Poverty | 12 Comments

I like to listen. My wife will tell you I’m not very good at it. But I really do like to listen to the way people say things … and the meaning behind certain words or phrases. I recently tried an experiment. I paid close attention to some of the things we say around the house, and then tried to imagine how different those conversations would be if we were living in a developing country. Think of how these phrases would be different — or non-existent — if we were living in one of the poorest countries of the world:

  • “You wanna go out to eat tonight?”
  • “What would you like for lunch today?”
  • “There’s nothing on TV.”
  • “It’s so nice out…let’s go for a drive with the top down on the Jeep.”
  • “It’s starting to get warm again. We need to think about turning the sprinkler system back on in the yard.”
  • “I need to run to the store to get some more diapers and Diet Coke. Can you think of anything else we need?”
  • “Morgan is outgrowing his clothes so fast, is it okay with you if I go to the store to see if I can find him some new pajamas?”
  • “I’ll empty out the dishwasher.”
  • I’m going to take a shower.”
  • “Feel like ordering a movie?”
  • “The housing market is so bad right now. I don’t know if it’s the right time to sell our home. But we sure need more space.”
  • “I’m starving!”
  • “What would you like for dessert?”

I would bet that most of those phrases are NEVER uttered in the homes of children who attend Compassion child development centers. And the ones that are, are said in a much different context.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to listen in on their conversations for a week?


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