Everyone who had read the Harry Potter stories would know how whiny Ron Weasley could be when it comes to his second-hand items. Since the very beginning, it has been established how he hated being poor as this requires him to use hand-me-downs from his brothers. At one point, I even thought that maybe he considered being a girl because that way, he'll be able to use new ones and then hand it all down to Ginny eventually.
Personally, I think his character is understandable though. Because just like Ron, I've constantly wallowed myself in pity because I don't usually have new books, uniforms, dresses, or toys. I know the feeling of being laughed at or mocked or left behind because I don't have anything new to flaunt in school. My family, like the Weasleys, is a struggling one so there's nothing much I could do about it. It was painful - especially for a young teenager.
But as I got older, I have realized that there are so many Ronald Weasleys in the world. A lot of teenagers would feel the exact frustration and disappointment Ron and I felt. Honestly, it's now comforting to realize that we're not the only ones in the boat; but of course, the memories just won't fade...
...until I have come to fully understand that some had it worst.
I was riding on a jeepney to work several years ago. Since the traffic was heavy, the vehicle I was riding on had to stop for a few minutes. To combat the boredom, I looked out the window like I usually do. There was nothing to look at until a scavenger passed by.
For the lack of better words, the man was dirty. He was barefooted, and was carrying a sack of what seemed to be junks. He was walking eagerly as he puffed his cigarette.
Suddenly, he flicked the cigarette away and bent to pick another half-consumed stick off the dirty sidewalk. Then he began puffing it like it was his all along. And with a smug smile on his face that basically showed his version of contentment, he rushed away from the jeepney I was in. I could tell he was delighted to have found another one to replace his cigarette. It was as if he found another lifeline.
Imagine the prick in my heart when I saw him walk away. It felt disturbing to see someone be in such state. It's like he's in a second-hand world, living a second-hand life.
I feel embarrassed remembering how stupid I was, whining over the simplest things. But I think I've grown past being the female version of Ron already. Remembering that incident, I think I have fully understood how I managed to accept my past of having to cope up with second-hand items. The incident basically taught me to be very grateful. The catch there is I got to go to school and now has a decent-paying job. That man obviously couldn't, and had to struggle picking up junks (perhaps) to sell, and half-consumed cigarettes to puff.
To be honest, I was already lucky; and now, I'm appreciating that luck more than ever. What I used to before eventually led me to becoming thrifty somehow. Well, I do spend a lot but I make sure that I do not splurge. I get new items, but would still prefer second hand ones if possible. I was taught how to be practical by my experiences. I think that's the best thing about it.
You see, life is tough; and you do not make it easier just by getting the best and newest material things. Sometimes, we just have to content ourselves with what's given to us rather than whine and go berserk because we cannot flaunt. Because at the end of each day, it is still way more preferable to have hand-me-downs, than a second-hand life.