I believe in what I learned while traveling to Honduras.
It was the summer of 2008; my family and I boarded a flight to a place I couldn’t even point out on a map. The moment I stepped off the plane, I knew it was going to be a whole new experience. We checked through the customs to be able to be in Honduras. The man we had to speak with hardly spoke English. After getting through customs we went through the big doors to the main part of this little airport, it was complete chaos. People were waiting for friends, family, mission groups, men from the army, etc, there was even a gate to hold all the people back. Once I saw about three different mission groups with things on their shirts that said something like ‘mission Honduras’ I then started realize how needy some countries really are. I realized that not all people can just get what they want all the time.
Growing up I was always ‘spoiled’ I got what I needed and basically most of what I wanted as well. My family was well off. Going to this place where a lot of people had very little, and worked harder then I do, was really hard to witness. Driving down the pothole filled old grey roads, with a car that actually had air conditioning, I looked outside the window at the different houses; they were almost like little shacks. They had walls made of clay or old stone. Next to the houses I saw the faces of little children, playing and having a great time, each one with a gigantic smile on their faces. These kids didn’t know that their houses could be better, could be warmer, and could stop leaking if little things were different. They had no idea, and they were completely happy with their living arrangements. Seeing all of this made me realize that I DO have all of this, my house is warm, the roof doesn’t leak, and my house is perfect, not only my house, but my life. Most of the time I am searching trying to make MY life a little better, when really I have all that I could ever want and I am so incredibly happy and grateful for it. Whenever I start to take things for granted like the fact that I can take a 45 min shower, I then start to remember being in Honduras and only being able to shower every other day or so, when the water got turned on.
I don’t know why our country is so well off, I’m never going to fully understand how it is to live with running water that I am not able to drink. But I do know that for all the many people down there, they gave me a whole different perspective on life. And I need to be grateful for everything I have, the good and the bad.
Tonight I will shorten my shower, tell my family how much I love them, respect the roof over my head and admire the un-leaking walls around me. I will be unbelievably grateful for everything I have, and have a smile on my face every step of the way. I will wonder at how it took me just fourteen days for me to appreciate such little things in my everyday life. I guess all I needed was many special people to open up my eyes. Now that I can see clearly, I plan on changing for the best. I’m not going to hold back anymore. I’ve come to realize just how lucky I am.
And I am grateful.