Snjezana - Countryside, Illinois
Entered on October 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: gratitude
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that most people don’t appreciate what they have. Every day, I hear my friends complaining about the slightest setbacks. “My parents took away my cell phone because I was texting too much”. “My cell phone broke and my parents won‘t replace it”. “School is so boring”. Or, “I got grounded for leaving my clothes scattered on the floor, and I got my allowance taken away. Life is so not fair!” Well that’s true, life isn’t fair.

Think about it, some people have everything they could ever wish for in life. They have cell phones, video games, TVs, Computers, and iPods. The fact that others spend much of their time wishing for such possessions doesn’t even cross their minds. Those unaware people who own materialistic and valuable things don’t appreciate any of it. They usually just flaunt it to make others want to be like them.

Most of you have been getting allowance since you were very young, and what has been happening every year since? You were probably begging your parents to raise your allowance, and when they did, you still wanted more. I never get allowance. I’m perfectly happy. But when I hear that my friends are mad at their parents for taking it away, I can’t help it but to think that they are spoiled. They just expect it, and they don’t appreciate it, and because of that they’ll become greedy people.

Some of my friends here also take their lifestyle for granted. Ever since I moved to America, people have been telling me, “Snez, you’re so lucky, you’re Serbian, you lived in Europe! That is so cool. I wish I lived somewhere else! Nothing ever happens here”. Whenever someone tells me that, I get confused. They don’t know the half of it. I came from a place where people hated each other because of their nationality. A place where there was constant bombing and shooting until I was almost 5 years old. And that gets me thinking, why do they think I’m lucky? Why do they hate living in a place where there is no war, where you can trust your neighbors and where the houses aren’t worn down and look like they could collapse on top of you? Everyone should appreciate the fact that they live in such a caring place.

People living in our area have pretty good lives, since they are safer, they have more money and luxuries, and there is better education. I know that at any given moment, all of that could disappear, and that’s why I’m so grateful for everything I have. With an exception of a few, most people don’t understand that it’s not like this everywhere, and that they are lucky to have it all. I guess a person never knows what they really have until it’s gone. It’s a shame people don’t appreciate the simple things in life.