There are so many beautiful things to be grateful for. Things that form a platform in my first world existence that I will reluctantly admit I take for granted. Things that I know most of the worlds population don’t have; a clean, dry and sturdy home, a comfortable bed, warm showers and a stupid amount of clothes etc etc. Yes, I’ve been working on gratitude for a little while now but I’ve suddenly become aware of the bigger picture. I am now brimming with gratitude with the life I was born into.
I’ve spent the last two weeks in Asia, the last of which has been in Cambodia. In Phnom Penh, we visited the killing fields, genocide museum and S-21 Prison. These visits were unreal, like something from another world. Only 40 years ago, an estimated 3 million people were brutally murdered there. I have to admit, I had no idea about this tragedy until my visit that day. I had to hold back tears, invoked by the shocking realisation that these things occurred to innocent people.
I feel incredibly ashamed for not knowing the kind of things that happened in the 70s in Cambodia. I know I wasn’t around back then, but as I sit around in New Zealand and visit third world countries, in my comfy first world existence, I can’t help but feel guilty.
I am so incredibly grateful to be born into a comparably easy first world lifestyle. I get to travel the world. I don’t have to beg for food or hope my rickety home survives the storm. I have all four limbs and don’t have to crawl around begging for money and the list goes on. The Cambodian locals say university is far too expensive at $500 USD per year, I didn’t dare tell them that my fees are equivalent to almost $10,000 USD per year. Thankfully, I have the government to help me pay my fees. They have to do it all on their own, scrimping and saving tips from snobby European tourists.
I am so incredibly grateful to be on this trip. A, because it’s an amazing experience, B, I get to have a break from my reality for a while and C, it has opened up a whole new dimension of gratitude for me.
How can I sit around feeling depressed when in the grand scheme of things I have it so easy and have so many things to be thankful for?