I think it started when my family went downtown one Christmas to hand out clementines, chocolate and pocket change to people on the street. It was Christmas day and it was honestly the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to be cozied up in my own house but my parents had decided we were going to spend the day in Toronto, giving some small gifts to people who otherwise wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas that year. It was probably my first tangible interaction with a socio-economic divide. I was choked.
I internalized the unfairness of the whole situation. My little brain was a flurry of questions:
Why had I been born into the family I was? How come adults weren’t saving these people? Why were the people we met alone and in the cold on Christmas day? If I just refused to get back into the car and go home with my family, what would happen? Why weren’t we taking our new friends home with us?