As a fifteen year old young man, my day consists of waking up, going to my private college prep school, eating all the food my heart can desire for lunch, and then going back to classes just to joke around. After classes I will go to lacrosse practice, then home to barely apply myself to my day’s load of homework and eat a fresh homemade meal or drive down the road for a nice dine-in meal. And after a seemingly awesome day I will look at the glass half empty. I’ll let stupid things get me down and keep me down.
This was and has been my weekly routine for all priviledged 15 years of my life. Now for that brief period of time that wasn’t spent going through my life routine, I was spending two weeks in China for a missions trip. During those 14 days, I saw lives, lives that didn’t always get their daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During my stay in the city of Pingyuan I visited small children at a handicap orphanage, children that couldn’t speak, or couln’t move due to bone irregularities. I also visited a leppors colony. In one day half-way around the world, my view on life changed. I saw people, age 60 plus, who had no hands or arms. Maybe no legs, or only one. I even saw a man that was missing the majority of the bottom half of his body. But, during my stay in China I saw, I talked with some of the happiest people. The most joyful people I have ever seen, heard of, or spoken to. These little mentally or physically disabled children possessed joy and happiness that I only wished to have. These elderly men and women that lacked major extremadies, but lived their lives to the fullest possibilities. They didn’t let a bad grade slow them down like I might. Heck they didn’t let not having an arm, or not being able to speak or move slow them down! These boys and girls, men and women lived their lives thinking the glass was half full. Something that I cannot do even with a full set of extremadies. And now that I think about it, it truly sickens me that I let every little thing bother me and depress me like I do. That even with my great life I think my life is horrible.
My wish, my hope for you is that you will be able to see life like the old lady without a left hand or the 5 year old that can’t speak and blackened teeth due to no toothbrush. I hope that from this day forward you will be able to make the best out of things knowing that someone as it worse and is still enjoying their life. I pray that you will be able to see that glass half full. And do not worry, I’ll be there with you. Fighting to see the glass half full when ever I fail a test or think I have it bad.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.