“Where I come from there is no tomorrow, only today.”
Hearing those words, you might think of an immigrant from a military state or someone who has known poverty to the extreme and just barely escaped. You’d definitely think of someone with an extraordinarily difficult life. You likely wouldn’t think of a millionaire athlete who took major league baseball by storm last summer, plays in the bright lights of Los Angeles, and winters in beautiful South Florida. But Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who said those hard words in an interview with ESPN’s Tim Keown, is all of the above.
Just as much as you might not envision a well-heeled star athlete saying these words, you likely can’t envision the meaning of the words themselves. The reality behind them is a slap in the face to comfortable America, a real sucker punch. We know nothing of the sort of poverty or oppression that so deeply engrains itself in the psyche that one cannot think of tomorrow. For most of us, tomorrow is everything. We have a plan. The sun will come out tomorrow, after all. Opportunities will arise, and if they don’t come to us we will go to them. But it is not so for the desperately poor in our country and others, for those who face such daily dangers and fears that tomorrow is not a sure thing. Most of us cannot, even if we try, truly understand the depth of power that sort of hopelessness has in forming a mindset and a pattern of life.
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