five hundred dollars is a lot of money. especially when you’re broke, don’t have a “real job,” and are still in school. and five hundred dollars is still a lot, even if you do actually have five hundred extra dollars to spend. five hundred dollars could have gone a long way; i could have donated it to a homeless shelter or non-profit agency, or i could have saved it to buy textbooks and pay for tuition. but i didn’t.
i guess i should start off by saying that at first, i didn’t even have $500 to spend. i picked up extra shifts at work and worked doubles every chance i could. i chose not to go out to eat or out on some nights, and i didn’t buy $4 coffees (even on days when i was extremely tired), or the cute $20 shirt i wanted. after three weeks of extra work i had reached my goal.
so i bought an ipad.
yes, an ipad.
some might believe the purchase to be a waste and far from my “local gifts only” idea, but there is more to the story, you see.
i bought the gift for my parents.
if your parents are anything like mine, they have sacrificed the majority of their life for you. and if your parents are like mine, they don’t really buy frivolous things, and if they do, its usually for their children. my parents have worked their whole lives to not only provide for me, but give me more than i ever needed. they always made sure i had the latest clothes, coolest gadgets, and the best birthdays; but more importantly, they loved me unconditionally, told me that i would succeed, and supported me in every minor endeavor i began. maybe when i put it that way, $500 doesn’t seem like so much after all. i am not suggesting that everyone needs to go buy an ipad to demonstrate their love for their parents, or that everyone should spend ridiculous amounts of money on those they love. what i am suggesting however, is that we begin to appreciate the sacrifices that our loved ones have made for us, and that we too sacrifice for them.
i could have bought my mom the new cd she wanted and given my dad some cologne, or i could have bought them a cheaper, but comparable tablet; but i know that if the present had been for me, i would have wanted the ipad made by apple. and so i bought it. my parents will now be able to skype or facetime with their first, precious granddaughter. and today, my mom sent me three emails in a row from her first ever email account.
the gift was more than an ipad. to me, it was an opportunity to connect my parents to the world, to give them a chance to see their granddaughter more often, to keep them up to date with technology, to help them learn, and to show them that five hundred dollars is nothing when compared to all that they have done for me.
thank your parents today, or whoever it is that you love.
do something kind.
and tell them how much you love them.