Imagine your life without a roof over your head, food in your stomach, or loving family and friends. As we all know, this is how people live in many of the world’s countries today, but we may not realize really how bad their lives are. Not only does poverty affect these people but many are living with war. I do not think that any of us, as Americans, could survive in these conditions because we are so enveloped in our busy, rich, and obese day-to-day lives. Although I am a young, sixteen year old man, I can still understand the value of everything important in my life. I believe that people should be grateful for what they have and try to express this through acts of kindness.
Put yourself in the shoes of someone living in a poor country. They struggle to survive every day. This is a sharp contrast to our lives today. Do you think you could survive without your iPod or cell phone? This would be the ultimate test. It could raise awareness and make people be grateful for what they had. People might then notice that almost everything they had isn’t needed to live a satisfying life.
I believe that most people don’t realize how lucky they are to have all of their gadgets and toys. Even though I am young, I have met many different kinds of people in my life. Some of my friends are always out to get the newest cars and electronics, but others seem not to care as much. Of course it is fun to get nice, new toys, but what we should realize is that in no way do we absolutely need these items. Some people will never in their poor lives see a gift especially for them. Imagine a birthday with no presents. It seems unreal in an American life, but is not uncommon for the more unfortunate people of the world. For this reason, people need not to complain and whine if they do not get what they want because they could have it much worse.
In addition, I wish people would be more thankful and polite; if you think about it, it doesn’t take any extra energy to say nice things. It is a great annoyance to me when an individual is rude to others and ungrateful for all they have received in their lives. I would much rather encounter someone who is overly kind instead of completely impolite.
This past Thanksgiving holiday made me think about what I am grateful for. I am incredibly grateful for being born into such a loving family and I truly appreciate all that they have done for me. I know that I am very lucky to have such an enjoyable life. Take a second out of your stressful life and stop to think about what you are grateful for-your health, your home, your family, your friends…
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.