For Granted

When life is in perfect tune, don’t forget to turn your eyes to those who need it.

I have an Iphone, a decent car and a family with both loving parents. Note I keenly insist on the ‘both’ as in duos, they are alive and well and for that I’m thankful. I believe that I am a glass half-full kind of person but then I tend to hold my fair share and probably some else’s share of complaints (a less fortunate person at that).

‘That’s not right!’, ‘I want it, but can’t afford it’, ‘All these cool kids are so pretentious’ (Just cause I’m not one)

In such a situation, I only see things in one perspective, mine. As long as it’s not going my way, it’s wrong. Life is a perfect mix of yin and yang. Alternatively, you get what you give. By closing myself to only one outlook on life, I have ignored many that require my attention. What’s in it for me? For as long as my perfect bubble is intact, all is well.  So to myself (and anyone who wants to listen) I say this, no matter how you feel, get up, dress up and never give up.

Even so, don’t close and size me up in a category just yet. The human nature is egoistic and selfish. It’s all about survival. However, our need to survive has been tampered by globalization’s need for consumption. Clearly I too have been affected by this ideology. It ‘s no longer simply about survival but rather it is survival with comfort. I had an Iphone 5 but as soon as the Iphone 6 was out I wanted it too. Just like everyone, I felt like queuing the shop on release date, but I couldn’t afford it and my parents were not going to indulge me. After extensive months of saving, I finally got it. Although I don’t regret the decision, looking back at all I did just to get latest version of the same phone I already had, I can only laugh about it now; its in the past. Yet I can justify that the experience did leave me with a lesson or two.

Let’s make it worse. As I was complaining the other day, I mention to my confidant that I hate having to hustle trying to convince parents to see things your way when they don’t have a united front. For several minutes I went on, with no feedback until she finally speaks in a monotone and says “at least you have parents to complain about”. At this point, I ventured into new territory. It was a glimpse of someone else’s life, a glass half-empty perspective. I just felt foolish.

thankful

We don’t realize things until they are painted to us in black and white. While at that precise moment my thoughts were ‘she’s such a downer’ ultimately what she said remained creeping at the back of my mind. In this consumption based world, we take many things for granted. We have gotten used and comfortable with material possession and the need for more and this has made us selfish. Our attitudes towards life need an adjustment. The middle class is most notable of this behavior. Children these days no longer feel the joy and emphasis of age limit. For instance, personally my parents would get as a laptop at the age of 15. These days, its child abuse if they don’t have a smart phone in fifth grade. What do you think they’ll demand at 15?

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In the spirit of Christmas, the yin is to share a meal with friends and family. On the other hand, the yang includes all the unfortunate people who have less than their basic needs. So this holiday, I ask everyone to change perspective. Let’s make it a habit never to take anything for granted, not the family, friends and the things we own. For a minute consider this, the 5 pairs of sneakers you consider lacking, in another perspectives, those 5 pairs of sneakers could mean the world to 5 different people. Having a variety of things is not a crime, we simply have to remember to appreciate what we have become not everyone is in the same situation.  On that note, even Kim Kardashian has gotten into the spirit this holiday and is giving away 1000 shoes for charity. The act of seeing someone in need and lending a hand, it’s the greatest gift to the receiver.