Ten dollars

December 08,2008
Talia's Blog
Talia Rivera( )

Talia Rivera is a 33-year-old mother of two. As Executive Director of Villages without Walls, she works with high-risk gang members in Boston. [Read more]

The value of ten dollars is almost valueless. President Hamilton’s bill is as cent-less as President Washington’s dollar. My daughter invited three young girls from the church in South Africa to our hotel. The resort where we stayed had plenty of fun activities for them. They swam, they bowled, they played miniature golf. After dinner we called for their parents to come and, as they say, “fetch” them. My husband and I gave them 100 Rand each, the equivalent to ten American dollars. One of the girls began to cry. “I never had 100 Rand before.” I was taken aback by her reaction. After they had left, I asked my daughter what she thought of her South African friend's reaction to ten dollars. I reminded her that she spends ten dollars a day – five dollars at Dunkin Donuts before school, and five dollars at Burger King after school. My daughter said she felt full inside because she was able to be a blessing to someone else. She learned a lesson more valuable than ten dollars or ten million dollars: It is most fulfilling to fill someone else’s heart with joy, gladness and possibility, while being thankful for what you have. What a lesson.