Something hit me yesterday as my wife and I sat making a "list" of items lost to someone obviously in a desperate place to enter the private property of another and steal. We, like most of us in the Western world have so much "Stuff" we couldn't possibly list or remember everything that had gone, this in itself was a personal wake up call for me.
We listed what we knew for sure had gone and the rest, well, the burglar obviously needed it more than us - this however was a huge "Light bulb" moment for me personally and a another lifetime wake up call!
Stuff is fine, I've worked hard for it and like most parents and spouses I try to give my daughter and wife an amazing life, I also like nice things and dream of better and bigger, that's not a crime, to strive in a healthy way is, in my book, a healthy energy, to work hard for a better life for me and my family is a good thing and I won't feel guilty about it. The question is how much "Stuff" in our life do we take for granted, how much do we just take as a "Given" and more the point how much "Stuff" do we not pay any attention too or even remember we have?
I came to a huge realisation this week, I've spent way too long not appreciating what I have and have spent way too much of my energy focusing on what I want! I have for way too long focused on everything not in my "Now"
I've been guilty of running through life without ever stoping and taking in how truly blessed I am but more importantly how special the little things in life are!
This is why I had a this realization;
At the same time as we struggled to list our "Stuff" families in the Philippines only wanted to once again hold thier families one more time, to turn back a clock to have just one second with thier children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, teachers and communities. My "List" seemed pathetic and as I struggled to come to terms with the workings of my new computer while parents with bleeding hands dug deep in ruble looking in desperation for their children that only days a go they watched laughing and playing in the streets and roads now gone for many a year to come!
Let's is all stop, even just for an hour and make "A list" of all we have, start with things that are free, health, family, friends, love, laughter then move on to what's around us and how easily a simple glass of water is to get, a soft pillow, a TV to shout at, a door to lock, a wallet to hold money, a tree to buy at the festive season and electricity to light it! This list will grow and grow and it truly is a humbling expeiance!
Stop, take a breath and look at how blessed we are in the western world at what we have when others, a mere non stop flight away, just want a cup of water and one last hug from a family member they will probably never find.
You don't have to donate or give but you can stop, for just a moment, and appreciate your life (As I have) and take just a small moment thinking of others and appreciating the very spot you sit or stand in when reading this, no doubt on a tablet, an i-pad, a computer or an expensive phone.
They took stuff from my home but they did not take my loved ones nor my spirit, laughter or soul - I'm truly lucky and very thankful for that blessing.
In line with the gesture from Simon to donate money from songs downloaded on tonight's X Factor I shall donate my fee to the same cause, why? Because today I am blessed enough, alive enough that I can!
I do not write this to ask you to give to any charity, that's your choice, but to simply stop and make a mental list of what beauty lies around us.
Thanks for reading.