I had a blog before which I set up back when I was still in High School or College. I don’t really remember. Thinking back now and looking back at what my posts had been, I realize that they were mostly about how I missed being home, complaining about having assignments and showcasing how much of a procrastinator I was.
I cringe while reading my old posts since they all seem so shallow to me now. They sound like rants coming from a spoiled, ungrateful, rich kid complaining about the “difficulties” of school life. That’s exactly what I sounded like as I read it now. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m neither ungrateful, nor am I a rich kid. Spoiled, maybe. To some extent.
Knowing what I know now, having been exposed to some of the more difficult situations most people nowadays are experiencing, I can’t help but feel ashamed of my younger self for not realizing early on how good my life had been, how so many people could have made better use of the opportunity that was given to me.
I currently work at a foundation that focuses on helping people in marginal communities by providing the community the help and support they need. A number of times, I have gone to the community myself just to see how life is out there and there were also instances I went to “teach them English” (although I’m not really a teacher, so I did it by just teaching random English songs.) Not all children from these communities have the opportunity and financial capability to enroll in a school. The parents don’t have stable jobs; some are skilled labor workers, public transportation drivers, street cleaners, etc. – noble jobs, but as noble as they are, sometimes they are still not sufficient to provide for the needs of the entire family. It is inspiring to see though, that these families, no matter what situation they are in, they are still firm with hope and faith that their lives will change for the better as long as they believe in the higher power and work hard. The moment you see them, they greet you with the warmest, innocent smiles you’ll ever see – hospitality and warmth in its purest. No matter how little they have, they would still offer you the best they can give. If that isn’t touching enough, I don’t know what is.
What I’ve seen in these communities has only made me even more grateful for what I have now. Things I take for granted just because I’ve always had them. Never crossing my mind just how important they are and that some people only dream of ever having such things. You know how the saying goes: “You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait until I’ve lost these things to realize their importance.
I just hope that similarly, other people out there realize how lucky they are to possess whatever it is that they have. We always say that, “Grass is always greener on the other side.” Well yes, that’s because we don’t stop to look at how green the grass is on our side of the garden. If only we cared enough to look…