The other morning Ghazal, my 5 year-old niece had some sort of a costume day at school so she donned her princess dress, complete with the wreath and everything, and apparently there was some sort of activity they have to pay for as it always is with her school, which is a good school but a very materialistic one as they already pay an arm and a leg for the tuition fees and then they keep paying throughout the year for the activities held by the school. Anyway, her mom gave her 6 JDs that she was supposed to give to the teacher, but I’m guessing there was some sort of misunderstanding because what happened is that Ghazal gave 5 JDs to the teacher, as for the remainging 1 JD she decided for some reason to do this:
Now, I’m not sure what happened, but I have a couple of theories. The first is that Ghazal had to give only 5 JDs to the teacher, and when she found that she still had 1 JD she perhaps thought “Why, I don’t need that, I’ll just go ahead and tear it to shreds”. Of course I immediately tried to defend her so that she wouldn’t be punished, I said that she’s just a kid and she doesn’t know the value of money. But then I thought: Maybe what she did indicates that she actually does know the real value of money. I mean, what if, instead of tearing the 1 JD bill apart she gave it so one of her friends? I mean, it was useless to her, and money is good when you have a use for it, while if you don’t then it’s better to give it to someone who needs it. Maybe she got the basics right, she just needs to know how to go about it. You know, I once thought that a good idea to teach a kid the value of helping others is for example when you get some change after dong some shopping with your kid and if that change consists of shiny coints or if you have brand new bills fresh out of the bank you can tell your kid that since this money look so fresh and shiny you should go donate it to the needy, just some thought I had, ut apparently that doesn’t make a difference for Ghazal because the one JD bill she tore apart was quite a nice piece of paper.
It’s fascinating though, when you think of it. I mean, money is after all just paper, printed under strict laws and conditions and in limited amounts apparently but still, paper. And yet wars are waged over it, family ties are severed, people are killed, etc. It has to be the most symoblic thing on earth if you know what I mean, all that value in a colorful piece of paper. Like when you buy a car, a Mercedes Benz or something, after all you’re getting this awesomely designed genius invention for a heap of… paper.
Anyway, my other theory for why Ghazal tore that bill apart is that she hears voices in her head, you know, mysterious impulses to do crazy stuff for no good reason, like I used to have when I was around her age: like neice like aunt.