It is Wednesday night and I am crawling into bed after yet another busy day. I have class from 11a.m. to 7a.m., with a lunch break in the middle and practice shortly after, which then lasts until 11pm. I come home, shower, find some food, finish (or start) my homework and before I know it, it’s 3 a.m. again. I look at my schedule for tomorrow and it isn’t any better. Between classes, different meetings, a doctor’s appointment and lifting times, I’m not entirely sure if I will even have time to eat, so I jump out of bed and throw a couple extra granola bars and a fruit pack into my backpack.
As I lay back down in bed, I think. I think of the four different papers I have due this week and about how I’m going to write them. I think about how badly I need to vacuum and how I’m down to my last pair of clean socks. I think about writing this article. And I think about how lucky I am to be so terrifically busy.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a common thought. Usually I go to bed thinking about how much I hate school and doing chores and just general adulting. I tell myself the same “poor me” story, hoping to find comfort in my excuses. But tonight I have this foreign sense of optimism and I think I like it. I think I need to go to bed less often with that poor me attitude and more often with the knowledge that I am blessed beyond compare.
Every day, I am able to eat all the food I need and sleep just enough (I haven’t quite succumbed to sleep deprivation yet). I am currently receiving one of the best educations in the world. I have many good friends by my side and man’s best friend curled up at my feet. I have a family who loves me and a roof over my head.
Meanwhile, every day, people are dying from starvation, about 21,000 to be exact. Most of the world’s population is unable to even attend college and, in fact, in 2010 only 6.7 percent actually hold a degree of any kind. As I sit in bed with the furnace on (set to 63 degrees Fahrenheit because I don’t like paying bills), more than 100 million people are sleeping outside because they don’t have a place to call home. Yes, I do indeed have a good life.
I don’t have a nice car—mine is actually held together by duct tape,—but I do have a car. I don’t have a nice house, my living room floor is caving in and there is a wonderful draft through the whole house, but I do have a place to live. I don’t go to the single best school in the world but it’s pretty damn close and there is no other school I’d rather attend. When I am done with school, I will be joining a rather elite 7 percent of the world’s populace. Because I am just too damn lucky.
Some say, “You aren’t lucky, you make lucky.” I love and agree with this saying, but only to an extent. Yes, I had to work hard and continue to do so every day. Yes, I have had to make many sacrifices to get where I am, but none of this would be possible without all the good fortune and blessings I have had so far. I was lucky enough to be born in the United States (or any first world country), to start. I was lucky enough to have access to every person and program that was able and willing to help take care of me when I needed it. And I was lucky enough to have friends and family that support me through own journey of adulthood.
Too often, we get too caught up in our own lives, too caught up in the daily race to the top. We are too busy trying to satisfy our own selfish wants and needs that we never stop to appreciate where we are and how far we have come. We fail to acknowledge how lucky we all are in our own right. I’m not saying we should cease to be hungry for more and stop reaching for greater heights, I’m only saying we should stop to realize how truly blessed each and every one of us really is.