Throughout your life you hear people tell you, "be thankful." Usually the younger minded individuals will look at them and most likely think or say, "Whatever." People tell you this for a variety of reasons, but in my case there was only one reason behind it.
Have you ever seen those homeless people who sit on curbs all day not matter what the weather is like? I mean, these people are sitting out with nothing but the clothes on their back, and are asking for help. Through sun, rain, or snow these people still sit out in these horrible conditions. "Why do they do this?" some young minded individuals may ask. Well, they do this because they have no choice. They simply need help. They need help from those who are more privileged than they are to give them a sense of hope. A sense of hope in the form of money, food, water, or even shelter. It's these people that we see in our lives that cause us to remind ourselves to "be thankful" for what we have. Now, it's easy to say this, but it's not as easy to apply it to life.
There's nothing like the feeling of cold water awakening your senses at eight in the morning. By cold water, I mean a freezing cold shower. A shower so cold that you can't feel your limbs and have blue lips that remain. On January 5th 2017 my family and I lost our greatest sense of relaxation; hot showers.
This this the beginning of my story as an "unhappy peasant." My family and I had no heat or hot water. In the dead of winter. No heat. No hot water. Bathing and staying warm was a challenge and an issue for everyone. In order to bathe we had to boil pots of water on the stove, wait for them to warm, and then dump them in our bathtub. Everyday we followed this routine. Everyone was limited to 4 pots each. The tub was never completely full, so not even half of our body was under water. Then there was the issue of not having heat. On the first day this happened, the house was a solid 32 degrees. It was so fun to sit in the living room and watch TV while sitting in your winter coat with layers of fuzzy socks and long sleeved shirts on. Thankfully, my parents decided to go out and get heaters to place around the house. This little bump in our road was what led all of us to insanity. We were all tired of taking baths, and we're tired of the space heaters. Every time I had to boil water I would ask my dad, "Is our water going to get fixed soon? Have you called the guy today?" Every time I asked and complained about our situation, my father would reply with, "There are others who have it worse than us." Every time I heard him say this I was furious. I was so angry because, yes others had it worse, but there were a lot of other people who had it a lot better than we did at the time.
For days, no weeks, wait a month we had this "bump" in our road. For a month I took baths everyday for 31 days, until my dad fixed the hot water. I cannot express the joy I felt when I was finally able to relax and enjoy a long and hot shower. My first hot shower in 31 days was a novelty to me because I was so used to sitting in lukewarm water. I'll have you know that it was the most relaxing and joyous part of my day. Immediately after my limbs were so tension free, it was like I had a massage. It was blissfully relaxing.
Now that I've had hot water for over a month, I have finally understood what my dad was saying when I thought he was talking crazy. His famous spoken thought, "Someone has it worse than you" finally took on a whole new meaning. It's only once you lose something that you realize how important it was to you. I didn't even know hot showers were that important to me until I took them for granted. My dad's thought reminded me of the homeless people who sit on curbs all day. Those were the people he was talking about. People like them who had no home, no food, no family. Those who had nothing. It's so easy to take something for granted, but it's so hard to "be thankful" when you don't even know what it's like to have nothing. Losing even the smallest thing to those who have lots seems so catastrophic to them, but would be nothing to those homeless people. Sometimes putting yourself in others shoes helps you become humble. When you become humble, you will fully understand what "There's someone out there who has it worse than you" means to you.