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Archive for April 8th, 2009

You know that old saying, “The other side of the tracks?”  If not, it’s kind of like saying “The grass is always greener on the other side.”  It’s pretty much along those same lines.

Anyways, I saw first-hand in my backyard that it’s literally true:  sometimes depending on what side of the tracks you live on can make a world of difference.

Right now, a portion of Interstate 40 running through Knoxville (conveniently located next to the exit I take to go home) is going through Hell and back, otherwise known as “Smart Fix 40.” (Might I add that someone changed the name a bit… it’s a tad vulgar to put on here, but it’s a play on another word beginning with “f.” Let your imaginations run wild with that one.)  The locals, i.e. myself, absolutely love construction around here… especially when you take the wrong exit and end up in the ghetto side of town.

I’ve done this twice.  I hate road construction, traffic, and basically any obstruction that lies in my path.  I’m a fast driver, I speed, and I like to get places as efficiently as possible.  In other words (but some might disagree) I’m a smart driver.  My brother once told me that there’s a difference between being a smart driver and a careful driver.  This, I’ve witnessed, has truth to it.  Hesitation kills, people.

So, when I took the wrong exit my mistake put me in a sketchy, shady, ghetto part of town.  At first, I was a bit scared—I’m a young white female driving alone in her probably-not-so-hard-to-break-into car—but after realizing that most of the people living there wouldn’t harm me, I didn’t feel so scared anymore.  Instead, I felt sadness rush over me.

There are so many homeless people right across the tracks from me, and I do nothing to help them.  Instead, I complain that I don’t have enough money for all the luxuries I want to afford, but I’m fine.  I have parents that help me out, friends to confide in, food to keep me more than satisfied, stylish clothes to wear, shelter over my head and a car to get me places I need to go.

They have nothing.  If they have anything at all, it’s perseverance.  I’ve never had the opportunity to test mine—I mean really, really to truly test my perseverance.  Quite honestly, I have high respects for them because I know they’re stronger people than I could ever be.

My whole life I’ve been pampered.  Everything has been provided for me on a silver platter.  It’s all been so easy so far in my life, but I know a time will come when I won’t have my parents or friends to help me out… and I’ll be on my own.  Then, my perserverance and strength will be tested.

Sometimes the not-so-green grass on the other side of the tracks can teach us something about life; it can make us realize what the most important things in life truly are.

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