Ever tell your children to eat their dinner because there’s others out in the world starving? I do it so much that the words spill out my mouth with very little thought behind them. Which is what it probably sounds like ringing in my children’s ears. It’s something we say when someone’s wasting food. Kind of like saying “bless you” after someone sneezes.
I took my son to the doctor Monday evening. Not our usual doctor, some type of Emergi-center outside of the city. When we sat down in the room where the nurse ushered us, my attention drew to the pictures on the walls. The doctor of this facility had obviously done work in Haiti. There were shots of the terrain, a picture of him administering medicine to a baby, women carrying water to their huts, and one with little boys running around his legs.
We’ve all seen the impoverished images on television, while hearing the spokesperson speaking in sympathetic tones, and a telephone number or email address scrolls on the bottom of the screen. But this was different. This doctor, the one working at this clinic, was actually there. I couldn’t stop looking at the woman in the one picture. A red bandana was tied around her head and the look of nothing was on her face. No happiness, no despair … nothing. Like today would be no different than yesterday for her.
It gave me great perspective for some reason. Of course I’m aware there are people less fortunate than me in the world, but it recharged my standpoint on appreciating all the things I have. The fact of me wanting a new dishwasher dissipated, the fact I had to wait for our medicine at CVS didn’t bother me. I had so much more than this woman in the picture ever would; a car, a house, running water, a bathroom, a place to take my children for formal education…
We all, well I guess most of us, count our blessings. But, when you stand them up against someone with very little, they feel like a whole lot more.