Gratitude

I’m not a great writer, but I enjoy it. I’m not very good at telling stories either but I’m trying. I hope you get from this story the joy I got from hearing it.

I work all day Sunday and the best part of work is the conversations. Most of the time the chatter is about nothing more than what guys did Friday and Saturday night. It’s always interesting, drunk stumpers, raging parties, but yesterday was different I meet a guy who had just come home from Afghanistan. I know lots of guys that had been though I don’t usually ask them about their trip. This guy shared part of his.

It’s easy to take for granted that we have running water and electricity. We have had it all our lives. When ever we feel like it we can use the bathroom, take a shower, wash our hand, have a drink. It nice. We can turn on the light and read a book to our children, put on a night light when our children are scared of the dark, have motion detectors out side to secure our property. Water and electricity alone gives us the life of royalty many wish they had.

It is my understanding that for the most part people around the world want what we have. What we take for granted, and it’s not just the basics like water, electricity. It’s everything. It’s safety, protection, rights, education, freedom, shelter, and these are what we consider basic rights. Then we have more above and beyond the basic needs, iPads, computers, cars, money, nice clothes, toys, and time to spend with our family. When you lay it out like this we truly are kings and queens like no other in history.

The man I talked to lived in a remote area of Afghanistan for seven months. There was no water or electricity. No bathrooms, no showers. For him it was an amazing experience. They built schools and kept the village safe. They helped where the could and the people appreciated it. The form bonds with the elders and are greatly missed now that they a gone although another group has come to take their place.

As the guy was telling me about all that they didn’t have and how they wanted to be like us. I had only one question. Is gratitude a hard concept for his daughter to understand. (I had noticed her walking by with him before he came in to get his hair cut. She was about the age of my daughter and I was a little curious.) He smiled, and I knew the story would be great.

As he did his duty in a country that very little he found that the people were basically happy. They appreciated even the simplest things. When he would call his daughter and tell her how the kids had no toys, no game stations, nothing that we have the daughter wanted to do something special. Over the years they had bought there daughter build a bears from the places they had traveled. She had a fine collection of thirty or more. With the help of her mom she boxed all of them up and shipped them to her dad. For every bear her father gave away he took a picture to send to his daughter. In her room she has all the picture of the happiness she brought into this world. She was unselfish and kind. She found a way to relate to those less fortunate than her. She gave without any expectation of monetary return.

The dad said the kids were happier than you could imagine. They didn’t believe that some would do something so generous. The shared this new found joy with their friends. This is a type of gratitude that most of us will never know. Most of us will never visit a third world country and see the face of a young child smiling with gratitude, but today I wish I could.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: