Struggling families living in poverty,
Special needs children and adults,
Severely mentally ill,
This is just a short list of some of the cruelest things people around you and me are going through at this moment right now. How often do we consider these things going on around us during our everyday busy lives? One maybe two things on this list we’re faced with daily whether its friends, family or just someone you hear about.
We really don’t know just how privileged we are. We go through our lives every single day wanting more and not accepting what we have. Complaining that it’s not enough or thinking about what more would be like are just a couple of the thoughts that run through our heads.
How different would our perspective be if the thoughts that went through our heads consisted of the feelings of the person who has less than me or what I can do with what I have to help others rise up, really just the person in some different shoes than mine. When we sit and think about ourselves and how we can help ourselves, we leave no room for others. I recently watched a movie about the slums of poor countries and it really had me upset. It had me upset that I can sit and plan my 3 meals for the day but the poor families of India have to scramble to at least have one meal that day. It had me upset that while I have dreams of big houses with nice amenities, that poor family in Africa has to struggle to keep those four walls held around them up and standing. It had me upset that I can shower, brush my teeth, and keep my hygiene up everyday but the poor families in Egypt have to worry about finding work that day to make money for necessities. It had me upset that going to church on the weekends is a choice if I’m feeling like it but in those poor countries it’s a privilege. It had me upset that we think we’re at war here but in other countries you cant walk in the street because an actual war is going on and people are getting murdered on every part of the street. Seriously though we don’t know just how privileged we really are.
When and why did we become those people that are so concerned with keeping ourselves happy and entertained while forgetting God and the other side of the world. The side of world that doesn’t get to eat or drink everyday or has to struggle to keep families together. What happened to simplicity and why was it completely replaced with complexity.
It’s not even a matter of giving to the less fortunate or dedicating time for community service. It’s honestly more of just realizing how lucky you are and at least attempting to be content. These days we’re complaining over the silliest things and it’s just sad. “They got my food wrong” or “my room is too small” or “my car could be nicer”. Then there’s my personal favorites like “damn why do you shop cheap” or “when are you gonna get a new one”. So not only are we not content with what we have but we also want others to feel bad for what they have. It’s so easy to tell on someone’s face when they say something but mean the complete opposite. Not even our poker faces can hide our true feelings of “more more more” or “this is simply not enough”.
Just a simple thought every single day of “I’m so lucky to be in the position that I am” can be that reminder that keeps you content. “I’m so lucky to be eating to be showering to be warm to be clothed”. Another thought of “why do I get to eat in excess and have things I don’t need when others can’t even attain the minimum survival necessities” can be helpful. Everytime we think of ourselves, we must think of the less fortunate and how lucky we are. Even Americas poor people are richer than others somewhere else in the world. We come across homeless individuals often in the US while other countries have homeless families with small children unable to survive. But still we complain that burger isn’t big enough or my mattress is too small while someone else would die for that burger your complaining about or that undersized mattress. It sure would beat that half eaten candy bar from the trash or that cardboard box to sleep on.
Some people get it and live according to what they have and what they’re capable of. Of course they want more but sitting and thinking about more won’t get you more. It’s those people that work to get more that end up getting more. Once you have more it’s most important not to forget that person that has less. We can easily enjoy life without living in excess but in simplicity and with whatever large or small things we were granted by God, it really all goes back to attitude and perspective. That’s what can set us apart. I can quote so many bible verses to back this up but I might as well quote the whole bible because in so many books and chapters and verses we’re instructed by God to not live for ourselves but for Him and others, you just have to want it. We really don’t know just how privileged we are.
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age
where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends
prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to
smell His sweet fragrance in us. There is, upon the Church, a critical
duty at this juncture through which the world is passing today. It is
upon her to advocate faith in hearts, to spread virtue, to bring peace
and serenity into every weary soul, so that tranquility might abound
and well-being might be plentiful. For the message of Lord Christ is
the guarantee of virtuous life for mankind: “I have come that they may
have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10);
the chaste, pure, peaceful, calm and effective life which forms good,
fruitful citizens and active members of the Church, who know how to be
ever faithful to God, their homeland and the worldwide human
community, co-operating with everyone, in a spirit of synergy,
brotherhood and selflessness.”