Remembering to be Grateful

You don’t know what you’ve got ’til its gone. It’s cliché, but it’s true. Oh so true…as my family and I were reminded this past week.

Within the past few weeks my family was reminded of just how lucky we are to have what we have. I’m not talking about things like WiFi, smartphones, and fast food. I’m talking about things we take for granted, specifically hot water and electricity. When was the last time you worried about hot water coming out of the tap, or being available for a morning shower? When was the last time you lit candles out of necessity and not simply for fun? If it was recently you know what I’m talking about. We lost both hot water and electricity in a power outage for a few days and it was the greatest inconvenience for our whole family, to say the least. Now, I’m not trying to be dramatic; our lives continued more or less normally and we knew we wouldn’t be without these luxuries for long, but it made me think.

We initially lost hot water when our water heater died on us, so we had to boil water like my mother used to do in the Philippines. This made me think of families around the world who have no hot water – or even running water and indoor plumbing at all! My extended family in the Philippines are lucky enough to have running water and indoor plumbing, but if someone wants to bathe with hot water they have to boil it and then use a cup to pour it on themselves. What a pain. They don’t have a repair man coming in the next 24 hours to fix a broken water heater, that’s just life for them.

Then, when our electricity went out (about a week later), I thought of the homes I’ve seen and helped build in Cambodia. They don’t have electricity at all. Most families can’t afford generators so if they have projects to do at night they use lamps and lanterns. Again, there are no city workers who have been called to figure out why the whole block is missing power, this is how their lives are every day.

It was frustrating enough to have only one of these luxuries disappear at a time, I can only imagine how difficult it is to go without both. Don’t go thinking I’m high maintenance or anything, but as I’ve been able to have hot showers again, see where I’m going in the middle of the night, and see the ease in which Martina can leave the house by using her lift (which requires electricity) I am humbled by these little miracles.

I hope each of us can take time to be grateful for the little things in our lives, and I hope they don’t have to be taken away from us to be truly thankful. Great adventurers remember to be thankful for the small things, because its a whole bunch of small things that make up the bigger things in life.

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