Too many lack perspective.

In the early 90s, in Pakistan, I had a cap gun — a gorgeous silver-metallic 12 shooter. I would save up my allowance in Saudi Arabia and spend it on cheap ring caps in Pakistan. The beautiful noise would drive my mother mad. So, one day she took the gun and hid it.

We were planning to visit some relatives on that day. My uncle was driving my mom and myself. While we’re in the car, I’m whining and complaining.

“I want my gun!”

“Where did you put it!?””WHERE!?”

“I want it!”

Well, actually I was speaking in Urdu but you get the idea.

Suddenly, this noxious smell came out of nowhere. I instinctively started to roll up the windows of the car. Then I realized, we were driving through a garbage dump. It seemed that for over a kilometer, on both sides of the road, bags of garbage had been piled up into sizable hills. The smell was so overpowering and atrocious.

I noticed something that was shocking. People were walking around and searching through the waste. I asked my uncle, “What are they doing?”

“They’re looking for food or something to use or sell for money.”

I looked at that scene in silence from behind the window of an air conditioned car.

I stopped complaining.

Text via Isaac Schrödinger: Regrets of the Flickering.

Image of girl in garbage dump: