Jacob - Fort Wright, Kentucky
Entered on April 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude


I believe that people should be proud and happy of what they have and the person they have become. So many people have begun to take what they have for granted. This is happening now more than ever with the media portraying what people could have if they would become someone they only dream to be. Even I find myself thinking “if only I had that” and I never stop to think about all the quality things I have in my life. Most people who live in the United States do have so much good whether it is possessions, money, family, or even just health and they seem to always need more.

From time to time I catch myself asking questions like, “Why was I not born into a wealthy family. They don’t have to worry about anything in life and just get to coast by.” As I think about that question, the more and more ridiculous it seems to get. Why would I ever wish to be born into a different situation? Everything from where I live to how much money my family makes has created and morphed me into the person I am today.

People seem to think that if they had more nice things around them they would immediately become a happier and complete person. All of this could be true but happiness is what you make it. If people in other countries that make one fifth of what you do are happy, then I believe if you have the right attitude and look around at what you really do have, then you can be as happy as you want to be.

How much work we do in a way affects how happy we are in life. It seems as though if someone had all the money in the world and had to do nothing for it or after that, their life would be full of little happiness. Half the enjoyment I get out of owning something comes from the work I had to put in to get such a thing. If I just receive something and don’t have to do any work for it, there isn’t nearly as much appreciation. That leads me to think that if I had grown up in an extremely wealthy family and had everything handed to me. I would appreciate nothing. With my lack of appreciation, it seems as though I would become careless with my things. I could own anything that I wanted at any point in time and if I were to break it or lose it, I would have the mentality that I could just go out and buy myself another with no consequences.

There are countries in the world where less than 25 percent of the people can read and write. That is something that is just given to most people. It is just expected that you learn to read and write and we take advantage of it. Every time I have an assignment do, I dread having to sit down and spend my time on school work when I know in my mind I could be doing something I would enjoy more. But there are many people around the world that would love to have the abilities that I have when it comes to school. I can read, I can write, plus I have had to opportunity to attend school for as long as I have. Not only that but I am now attending the University of Kentucky which is a fairly expensive and respectable school.

We take advantage of being able to read the news that we see in magazines and newspapers. Not only that, but we take advantage of being able to afford to get a magazine or newspaper so that we can be amused and informed. There are many places in the world that people are living on less than one dollar a day. Who knows how much the water we use to take a shower everyday costs us. I would love to see how much money I use a day on things that people just overlook. No, not just things like food or water, I’m talking about those things plus our electricity we use, our gas we use, and our clothes that we have. It is amazing to me that people can even survive on one dollar a day and I take advantage of the thousands of dollars I use up in a year.

Every day I get up, get dressed, take a shower, brush my teeth and go off to start my lazy, fun filled day. We never stop to think about how good we actually have it. I am lucky to have the family I have. I am lucky to have the health I have. When I’m home I can sit around with my parents or brother and sister. I never really realized how fortunate I was to have them until I moved out of the house and into the dorms. These people give me so much and I am amazingly lucky to have them. I only wish I can do the same for them at some point in time. If it wasn’t for them I don’t know where I would be. More than likely I would still be at home, sitting in my room, playing videogames thinking about how “horrible” my life is. We need to stop and think about the importance of all the people who surround us on a daily basis.

When I make myself conscious of all these things I realize how great my life is. I wake up every day with the opportunity to go to work, school, and have my free time to do nothing at all if I please. I have the chance to make my life into almost anything that I want it to be with hard work and time. People today need to realize how much good they have in their life and just enjoy themselves. It is perfectly fine to want more, but don’t go around acting all miserable when you are living a life that many would love to have. If we make ourselves conscious of what we have and take the time to thank people for the minor things that we get, I believe that we will become happier people over all.