You Are Lucky This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 11, 2011
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You are lucky.

You were born on this planet – which is inhabited by millions of species – not as a bacterium, an insect, a fish or bird or elephant, but as a human. You have a highly developed brain with the ability to reason, solve problems, use tools, think on a higher level, and analyze your surroundings.

You are reading this, which means you have some education and understand English. You are literate, so are not part of the one quarter of the world that cannot read or write. You probably go to school and have access to a free education. Because of that education, you are lucky.

Maybe you're reading this online, which means you have access to the ­Internet, which about 75 percent of the world does not. If you don't have Internet access at home, you can likely use it for free at the library. This means you have the resources to learn anything you want and be anything you want to be.

It's quite possible you own a computer. If you do, you certainly own a bed. If you have a computer and a bed, you probably live in a house or an apartment. If you can afford that, you can afford to eat every day. The fact that you're reading this means you have leisure time, which means you aren't spending your days working in a factory.

If you are reading this, you probably aren't among the 1.1 billion people in the world without access to clean water. You can believe whatever you want without being persecuted by the government. You don't have to live in fear. You were lucky to be born in a century where people around the world are gaining rights.

It is unbelievable how privileged you are, but it's okay that you take it for granted. What's great about life is that even if you hate your life now, or if your family isn't what it should be, or if you've gone down the wrong path, there's always the chance to start over. And there is certainly something about you that makes you lucky – some talent, some attribute, some possession, some passion, someone in your life, some belief, some love, some hope.

You may have dealt with injustice in your lifetime, but you are alive. Out of seven billion people alive on earth, you are the only you that has ever existed or will ever exist. And even if you die tomorrow, remember, you're lucky to have today.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

Ahana G's kaur said...
Jul. 24 at 9:46 am
Nyc lines ...... changed the way of thinking completely:-)
emattox said...
Feb. 15, 2012 at 11:02 am
This is soo great! Really puts things into perspective.
nelehjr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm
You are very wise for your years. Yesterday on the bus I was reading the old December issue when I found your article and said "Wow". That eveing I was informed that a girl who road my bus (almost a freind of mine) was either going to be expelled or have O.S.S. for threating some kids. This morning she told me about how angry her parents were. On top of everything she is now grounded. I'm pressed for time so to sum it up she said she'd have to move in with her mom or kill herself. I told her sui... (more »)
nelehjr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 22, 2013 at 9:57 pm
Just wanted to say, your words changed a life.
notkelelavery said...
May 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm
There is an infinite amount of advantages we were given that we take for granted. We aren't just lucky, we're blessed.
freebird said...
Apr. 20, 2011 at 1:12 am
A truly amazing analogy about having blessings in your life.  My father was an amazing person that lived many circumstances in ouir lifetime including three world wars, the great depression, and up to the latest times and life in America through early last year.  This man, my father, was almost 88 years in his life and he was my father and mentor.  He coined a statement that I buried him with and it states:  Life is a catalist that turns knowledge into wisdom.  Quoted By... (more »)
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