Often times people distinguish the values of their lives based on their materials and luxuries. It’s just human nature to not realize life is a sweet miracle. Sometimes you have to realize what’s going on around you and view the hardships other people are going through. If you’re lucky enough, you can find a whole new appreciation for how good your life is. That’s why I believe you have to see what others are going through to appreciate your life more.
During fifth grade my oldest sister was off to college in New Orleans. My family and I went down there for a few days so we could finally say a sad goodbye to her. I was on a walk with my dad at the time when we were there, and we saw a fairly old lady sitting down, curled up and wearing old, tattered clothes. She mumbled something to me and my dad in a very raspy voice. We couldn’t make out what she was saying but my dad took out his wallet and pulled out a couple bucks, reaching out to her.
In a more clear voice, she said, “I don’t want your money, I just want someone to talk to.” I could tell she was going through a very rough patch in her life. Stuck on the street, no food, and no income whatsoever. All she had were some beat up pants with rips in them, a shirt that turned brown from who knows what, decrepit old gloves, and some sort of ragged beanie hat. I had no idea how she felt or what she was going through. Sadly, my dad and I walked away, with feeling of remorse.
As we walked away, I turned back to see the cops hoist her up. They took her away for some reason, hopefully to find shelter for her. She didn’t seem to want to go though. She tried to deny them taking her by fighting back and kicking at them but they kept bringing her away. Whenever I go to New Orleans, I am haunted by that spot where we found her.
From that experience, I learned my life is much better than what I used to think. Sometimes I’d complain about the little things, like not being able to get candy at a store or something along those lines. Not anymore. There I was complaining about some candy, but this lady was struggling to get food in general and to be well nourished. I had a newfound respect for my life from it, and it has made me more accepting when something doesn’t go my way. I even found that my quality of life has improved from that realization.
Life isn’t just your birth date to your death date, it’s about that dash in between. You can either accept that dash and feel like your life is whole, or deny it and always seem like your life is empty and always want more. That dash has all the good moments in your life, bad ones, funny ones, sad ones, and every other experience. By appreciating your life more, you can have more of the good moments and less of the bad. People always seem to want more, but if you went through what I did, you’d see that what you have is perfect. I believe life is a beautiful thing, and you have to take into account that you have a better life than what you thought, and once you realize that, you’ll say, “Dang, I have a good life.”