Count Your Blessings
“I recently talked with a friend of mine. He told me despite taking 2 jobs, he brings home barely above $1,000 per month, and he is happy as he is. I wondered how he can be as happy as he is – considering he has to skimp in his life with the low pay to support a pair of elderly parents, in-laws, a wife, 2 daughters and the many bills of a common household. My friend explained that it was because of one particular incident that he saw when he was visiting in India…(that happened a few years ago when he was really feeling low and touring India after a major setback). He said that right in front of his very own eyes, he saw an Indian mother chop off her child’s right hand with a butcher’s knife. The helplessness in the mother’s eyes, the scream of pain from the innocent 4-year-old child haunted him even today. You may wonder why did the mother do this; had the child been naughty, had the child’s hand been infected? No. My friend explained it was done for two simple words – to beg. That desperate mother deliberately caused the child to be handicapped so that the child could go out into the streets to beg.
Being so startled by the scene, my friend said he dropped a piece of bread he was eating. Almost instantly, a flock of 5 or 6 children swamped towards this small piece of bread, which was covered with sand, robbing bits and pieces of it from one another. The natural reaction of hunger. Stricken by the happenings, he instructed his guide to drive him to the nearest bakery. He arrived at two bakeries and bought every single loaf of bread he found in the bakeries. The owner was dumbfounded but willingly sold everything. He spent less than $100 to obtain about 400 loaves of bread (this is less than $0.25 per loaf) and spent another $100 to get daily necessities. Off he went in the truck full of bread into the streets. As he distributed the bread and necessities to the children (mostly handicapped) and a few adults, he received cheers and bows from these unfortunates. For the first time in his life he wondered how people could give up their dignity for a loaf of bread which cost less than $0.25.
My friend began to tell himself how fortunate he really is. How fortunate that he is to be able to have a complete body, to have a job and a family, to have the chance to complain what food is good and what isn’t good, to have the chance to be clothed, to have the many material things that these people in front of him are deprived of. Then I began to think and feel it, too! Was my life really that bad? Perhaps… no, I should not feel bad at all… What about you? Maybe the next time you think you are, think about the child who lost one hand to beg on the streets.”
“Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, it is the realization of how much you already have.” When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don’t see the one, which has been opened for us. It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can’t go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.