Friday, May 7, 2010

Driving the Distance

“Before whining about the distance you drive, think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.” ~Author unknown

I don’t think many of us ever realize just how fortunate we are. Yesterday, I had a chance to briefly enter the world of someone who has very little, and I realized how much I take for granted.

While talking to this man, I learned that they have a specific amount of money they can use for food every month; with the prices of groceries going up, what used to be enough to feed their family for a month no longer is. As he was talking, I tried to imagine what it must be like – with three kids to feed – to have to stretch out groceries that far. Then I thought about something else.

Just the other day, I went to the grocery store for my weekly run. After pulling into the garage I went inside for a minute, taking my time before I began to unload the car; somehow, bringing groceries in – and putting them away – felt like a chore. As I spoke to this man, that scene flashed in front of my eyes, and I instantly felt guilty. I thought about the times when my kids have complained because leftovers were being served, and also of the days when I complain about having to go to the grocery store.

And what about cleaning house? I would not have to clean it if I lived on the streets. I would not be able to vent about the challenges of parenthood if I hadn't been gifted with children of my own. I would not stay in line at the store to buy Christmas gifts for people I love, if those people weren’t in my life; I would not complain about my job if I didn’t have one, and was looking for employment.

Most of what we normally view as challenges in our lives is connected to that which we would not want to live without. We take our blessings for granted, and even complain about them, but how would we feel if, suddenly, they were gone out of our lives? Definitely something to think about.