It is so sad how money can ruin a good thing. I’ve witnessed several families being torn apart in feuds over inheritances. I’ve heard of sponsorship money meant to help keep an orphaned Ethiopian child off the streets turn that same child into magnet for mooching extended family members or a human ping pong ball among sudden wannabe legal guardians. I’ve departed from the sunny smiles of barefoot barely-clad Africans and arrived 6 hours later in this country to the dour expressions of stressed out people shoving their way to a good spot at the conveyor belt to claim their three huge suitcases. And I’ve often wondered why a little girl with a stable full of ponies at home looks so much sadder than her classmate with four siblings, two social workers and a father in jail.
Yesterday I got the haunting feeling that money may well muck up the good thing I have going in my school. For the first time, the finances were laid out for everyone to see and to cut to the chase – it seems I am straining the budget. They wanted a qualified native speaking English teacher, but it was never clear if they could really afford one. The question has officially reared its ugly head.
Suddenly the two worlds I live in are clashing. I feel I have to justify myself there as to why I insist on staying (slightly) above the poverty threshold and I have to justify myself at home as to why I am staying at such a low-paying job, while turning down job offers that would bring in three times as much for half the work. Actually, that is not fair. My husband sees that I am happy and has been great about it all. I just hope things at school go a similar way.
The quickest way to kill happiness is to slap a price tag on it.