This I Believe

Jenna - Wilsonville/OR, Oregon
Entered on October 6, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude
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Stressed about your bad hair day? Think again.

I believe that we’re better off than we think we are. As a teenager, we think we have it so tough. Maybe we do. But when you’re stressing out about why your hair looks bad or why your make up won’t cooperate today, then think about all of the kids at Dorenbecher who don’t have hair to worry about thanks to their recent chemo treatment. Or think about that child with burn scars on her face because her coke addict mom caught the house on fire, and then she realizes that make up won’t fix her. When you’re at school freaking out about a huge math test on Friday, think about kids that work in mines down in Mexico because they have to earn a living for their starving family at home, instead of getting an education; they don’t get tests to agonize over.

I know it seems weird and a little depressing to think about it like this, but we don’t realize how much we have until we look at how little others have. And then suddenly we’re thankful for every little thing we do have. When I realized how lucky I was, I was driving down a road in Wilsonville, and as I drove by the Smart Bus stop, I saw about 20 people that needed to get on it. I’ve never been too fond of how old my car is-14 years- but then when I thought to myself that none of those 20 people were fortunate to have a car, I became tremendously grateful that I was fortunate to even get a car.

Now even if that means that we don’t have huge houses like others, we still have a guaranteed roof over our heads at night. Or even though you might drive a beat up, old, hand-me-down from your deceased grandmother, you still have something warm to ride in everyday, when others will have to walk in the rainy season. When you’re lying in bed with bad cramps or your muscles are sore from football practice and it makes you feel like you’re dying, you’re not. It’s not as scary to think about when you realize that the kids in Africa have to worry about whether or not they’re going to live through the next malaria outbreak, not a scratch or a tanning experience gone orange.

Almost everyone has it easier then someone else, no matter what type of car you drive or what type of house you live in. But instead of worrying about your hair, or your math test, worry about those that don’t have hair and worry about those who aren’t fortunate to get an education. Be grateful for your life.

This, I believe.