Some people are rich, some people are poor. Some people are healthy, some people are dying. Some people are obese, some people are starving. The large gap between living conditions is fueled by human greed for wealth and power. Many people brought into this world are predestined for a miserable life. Some people are born with terminal illnesses, poverty-stricken families, horrific living conditions,… The list goes on and on. Some people, however, receive their spark of life from successful and happy families. They live their life as happy and carefree children, not knowing how fortunate they truly are. They aren’t grateful for everything they have. I used to behave that way until I met a girl named J.C. It is because of her I now believe people need to be grateful for all they have.
I met her in February of 2008. I immediately fell in love with her. It was a little over two weeks after we met that we started dating. Things were going pretty well, I learned a lot about her, and realized how similar we were. We both suffered from depression and bipolar disorder, both used to be masochistic, and both loved Star Wars. However, I also discovered our differences. I had a family that loved me, her parents kicked her out on a regular basis. I was being treated for my illnesses, her parents pretended her illnesses didn’t exist. I was not a substance abuser, she would drink to escape reality. After dating her for six months, I finally realized how fortunate I was and how ungrateful I acted.
J.C. showed me how unfortunate some people are. Of course I knew about slaves in Africa and homeless children in China, but I never fully realized how much I had. Through her, I saw that some teenagers have unloving parents, diabolical siblings, and terrible living conditions. I never even considered the possibility that some parents don’t clean their houses or buy their kids food. Looking back on my past, I can’t believe how ungrateful and selfish I have been. I can remember myself demanding my dad to go buy me McDonalds, demanding my mom for money, demanding my brother to do my chores, and demanding my sister to pick me up from school. I rarely said please and even less often said thank you. I was an ungrateful brat.
I broke off my relationship with J.C. after a year of dating. I am going off to college, and she still has a couple years of high school left. It would be too difficult to handle a long distance relationship. I am happy that I dated her, she made me a better person. She taught me patience, kindness, and the most importantly, gratefulness. I don’t know if I would have learned how well off I am if I didn’t meet her. Because of her, I have a better relationship with my family. Because of her, I discovered happiness. Because of her, I learned to be grateful.
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