I believe it’s true when they say that we never acknowledge things until they’re gone. Living in a world that’s much larger than I am, than we all are, it’s challenging to stop for just one second to divert my attention from the vastness of my life to things that seem so minute within this world.
People are very good at a game I like to call “Have it All.” We’re always fond of the idea of having the most money, or having many things within our possession. On the other hand, the game we’re not so good at playing is the game of simply just being. We get so tangled up in the habit of wanting more and more to life that it’s rare for us to just appreciate what we have now. All we do is complain about how we’re so unfortunate because our “hot water is running out,” and how “the lunch today is wiener in a roll, but it’s not white bread.” When I think about the complaints that I often make, it makes me realize how selfish I can be. I think we’re just all oblivious to it. I’ll be honest, I am a privileged girl. I have everything that I could ever ask for, and if you were to take all that I have away from me, I would be devastated. The thought of having nothing is truly daunting, but it’s never occurred to me. I always think that the possibility of that happening is way out-of-reach.
When I think about the time I went to Mexico with my youth group, and setting foot in their dump, my heart crushes. Before entering that dump, I’ve not once spared a thought for people who have nowhere else to go but the dump. I don’t know what it’s like to have everything stripped from my grasp, or to have no food on the table, or no money in my pocket, but a lot of these people living in poverty do. As I looked around, every single child wore a smile plastered on his face, and I said to myself, “Man, what is wrong with me?” It’s as if I’ve been Sleeping Beauty my entire life, and the spell finally wore off. It wasn’t until I saw a place of nearly nothingness that I acknowledged how lucky I was to have what I have in my life. It just sickens me to think that it took something like that to finally flip the switch. These people were happy with what little they had, and I have it all, but even I am never that happy.
One of my youth leaders said, “These kids have so little, yet they still wear smiles on their faces as if they had everything,” and if that doesn’t flip the switch for you, then I don’t know what will.
There are approximately 7,392,561,000 people in the world, and counting, every person with his or her own values. One man’s discipline might be another man’s privilege. Hear me out when I say this: we are insanely privileged, and I don’t care if that means you have a thousand dollars to spare, or if you just have one.
Everything we have is valuable, but why is it taking us so long to realize that? It’s not until we run out of money that we realize how much that money was actually worth. It’s not until Rocky Balboa lost a fight that he realized how great it was to win, and it’s not until we’ve lost the ones that mean the most to us that we realize how great it was to have them around.
I believe that we don’t see things until they’re gone. It’s human nature. Frankly, I don’t get it, and I wish it wasn’t so.
We all have our heads stuck on the idea of winning in that old game we’re good at, but guys, I think it’s time we learn to play a new game.