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Your Opinion: A world we'd never seen

Your Opinion: A world we'd never seen

January 3rd, 2018 by Tom Hartman, Jefferson City in Opinion

Dear Editor:

One of the first things I do upon rising in the morning is to put on my glasses. This allows me to see the world in a way entirely different from that which I see without them.

Until recently, my wife and I spent 17 winters of our life living for seven months each year in a fine golfing community bordered by the Rio Grande River in Brownsville, Texas. Immediately across the river lay the city of Matamoros, Mexico. On one of our many forays into that city, I recall seeing on one mildly breezy day as we drove through an exceptionally poor part of that city, one family's dwelling, constructed of four posts, blue plastic tarps stretched between each and yet another atop, these forming their house. Two of the tarps had blown loose from their moorings, thus allowing the wind to blow through the structure. We beheld a world we had never before seen. And the sight of whole families digging through the rubble of that city's huge dump looking for some morsel to eat allowed us to experience the world through a lens through which we had never before looked. And one worker who served our community, who could not afford a car, swam daily across the river to work. Such scenes — and many, many more — left an indelible impression on my mind. Thus I wrote what I wrote.

I did not intend in my letter to appear to be the Grinch stealing Christmas. It has been the custom of my wife and I each year to select a needy family — whom we do not know nor do any of them know us — on whom to spend a considerable sum for gifts. Our intent has been to provide at least one memorable Christmas for each, thus attempting to fulfill for that family the sentiment of the ad, Excite and Delight, years before it appeared in print. I used dramatic irony, whereby is revealed to the reader some knowledge contrary to the impression the writer wishes to make. The jingle Stop, Look and Listen before You Cross the Street expresses sage advice as we progress through life. Apparently, Mr. Otto, all this passed right over your head.