“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
We were in the mall a couple of weeks ago for our groceries and we had our new nanny to come along with us. She was so excited because according to her, the last time she set foot in a mall was back in 2003. Before we went to the grocery, we had dinner in a small Japanese restaurant our family frequented.
We ordered the same food we’re having for our nanny and right in the middle of our meal, she stared to cry. We asked her what the problem was and she told us that she felt guilty eating delicious food while her children back in the province barely ate anything.
She share how difficult life was back home and we really felt for her. She said they lived in a shanty in the middle of a mountain and that they had to go down to get water through a pump. Her husband worked as a coal miner but that his salary wasn’t enough to sustain their needs. Her children would have to walk for over an hour before they reach school and life was so hard that her eldest daughter had to stop going to college and start working to help with their needs.
I felt guilty and blessed upon hearing these things because 2 years ago, I was complaining about my circumstance and just about everything that’s been going on with my life. I didn’t realize that I was still lucky compared to others despite going broke.
Don’t let need turn to greed
When I met my biggest failure 2 years back, I was the most annoying person I know because I complained just about everything. I complained about my job, I complained about my finances, I complained about the people around me, there doesn’t seem to be anything going right.
When I heard our nanny’s story, I felt like a jerk for complaining because considering my situation, I was still SO DAMN LUCKY yet there I was, filled with discontent and disappointment.
Haven’t we all been like this at one point in our lives though? We always complain about the things we don’t have and why we don’t have it but in the process fail to appreciate what we’ve already been blessed with?
I mean there’s nothing wrong in dreaming big but you also have to be content with where you are at the moment and not let your desire for greater things rule you.
You have something others will feel lucky to have
There’s no denying that poverty is one of the major problems here in the Philippines. Everywhere you go, you see homeless people. Children begging in the middle of the streets, families living in make-shift cardboard boxes and sleeping on side streets. I see them everyday on my way to work and the one thing I noticed especially among these poor families is that no matter how impoverished and how hard life is, they’re all intact.
I see fathers bringing whatever meal they could scavenge to their families and they all eat together and most of the time, they’re actually smiling and having fun and I can’t help but admire them because despite their situation in life, they find ways to survive together.
Compare them now to rich people, the powerful ones so to speak. They’re super wealthy but most of them are divorced, separated and not in good terms. They suffer from life-threatening diseases. Cancer, heart-problems, kidney disease, you name it.
This made me realize that we really can’t have it all but if you have the right mindset and you are grateful with what you have and the life you’ve been dealt with, you have MORE THAN ENOUGH.
You may not be as rich, you may not have the car of your dreams or you may not be in the job you’ve been looking for but if you look deep into yourself, you have something that others would feel lucky to have.
Life is precious so be thankful. Live it to the fullest
Sometimes to appreciate life, you have to go back to the basics. You have to look at the simple things like health, food, air, family, or life itself. It’s a great privilege to be alive and to enjoy each day with your loved ones. That in itself is something to be thankful for.
I thank God every morning as soon as I open my eyes because I’m still here. I’ll still be able to take care of my kids, go on dates with my wife, go on vacation with the entire family. We don’t have to have a luxurious mansion or a really fancy car to enjoy life though honestly, it would be awesome to have those someday.
Enjoy the sunrise, the smell of the morning breeze, enjoy nature. I know I’m sounding a little too dramatic but hey, that works for me. It makes me appreciate being alive to enjoy all these.
You are lucky to have food to eat when others struggle to have even a little bit.
You’re lucky to have a home that shelters you from bad weather while others scamper to go under the roof of public establishments.
You’re lucky to be able to go to the best schools comfortably while others have to endure crossing rivers on barefoot before reaching their classrooms.
There’s so much to be thankful for if you look closely and examine your life from a different perspective. When it all comes down to it, it’s not about the money or the power or the fame or the title. It’s about the quality of the life you live that’s most important.
You are far more blessed compared to other people so everytime you feel like complaining about your life or any part of it, look around you so you can appreciate everything you have.
Over to You
I’m gonna go back to the title of this post as my parting question. Do you realize how lucky you are?
If you don’t then there’s something wrong and you need to change your mindset. You need to change how you look at life in general and learn to appreciate the little things because we are all lucky in our own way.
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