I once heard the quote, "A bad day doesn't equal a bad life,". And I repeat it to myself every now and again.When we are in the midst of a rough time it's easy to lose perspective.
Ever heard of hashtag firstworldproblems? The problems we face seem really strange to those in other countries who don't have any clean water to drink or who are dying because they don't have access to basic antibiotics. The funny thing is, we know this!
Ex: My cookie dough ice cream doesn't have enough cookie dough. #firstworldproblems
(I actually found this quote on Twitter, fyi)
I know we all have heard about poverty and world hunger. Those numbers are easy to hear and easy to forget. Let me give you a little refresher for a clear perspective.
- According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
- Preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia take the lives of 2 million children a year.
- 1/4 of all humans live without electricity approximately 1.6 billion people.
- For more stats click here.
This computer we are on and the cell phone you just used is a luxury. 1.6 billion people in this world don't even have access to electricity. And we have other luxuries like toilets and air conditioning. I don't know what I would do without those last two!
I know when I'm facing a hard time or in the midst of an internal crisis, nothing you could say to me would make much of a difference. I don't have the mental capacity to step outside of myself and view this life through a healthy perspective. I'm not minimizing our first world problems; to us, they really are struggles. Anxiety and depression are a HUGE issue in the United States. People who have never faced hunger face these things on a daily basis. I think by staying present and being in a constant state of realizing how blessed we are, we can be more equipped to keep our life in perspective when a breakdown occurs.
Sometimes I feel like if we've never been taught how to look outside ourselves or never experienced other cultures, we don't know how to see anything but our own wants and needs.
Working with young teenagers is a great way to see up close and personal how egocentric our culture is. They don't realize it and it's definitely a part of the maturing process, but I find it funny. Was I the same way at fourteen? Did my life crumble around me if my cell phone broke or someone said something to me the wrong way? Maybe.
Our culture is all about "me". It's about how "I" feel, what "I" want, if "I'm" offended... I remember my mother having a shirt that said "I Heart Me" on it. How strange is that? Most of us don't walk around displaying our self-centeredness but our thoughts and actions do it for us.
YOU might be having a bad day, but that doesn't mean YOU have a bad life. Let's be open to keeping a clear perspective. I challenge myself and I challenge you to take a step outside yourself and be thankful. The next time you're having a bad day, take a moment to remember you don't have a bad life.