A Lesson in Appreciation. I was raised to count my blessings. No matter how tough life seemed, my parents showed me that I could always find someone who was hurting more, owned less or who was not as fortunate or healthy as myself. They explained that by throwing pity parties, we will rarely accomplish more than underscoring how we already feel - hard done by.
The lesson my parents taught me carried me through a rough life. No matter how much I had to endure, if I found a way to encourage someone who was hurting; in turn, I would be encouraging myself. I think the following story speaks volumes to this end.
One day, the father of a wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple days on a farm with a family that was considered very poor.
On their return trip home, the father asked the son,"Did you see how poor people live? If so, what did you learn?"
The son's response was not what the father had expected. "We have one dog, Father, and they have four. We have a pool reaching to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.
We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the vast open sky with the stars shining so brightly.
Our patio reached to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond their sight. We have servants to serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have dogs and neighbors to protect them."
The boy's father was speechless, then the son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we really are."
Let us try to remember to give thanks for what we have, rather than worrying about what we don't have. More importantly, how do we measure our blessings? What price can we place on friendships, relationships, good health, or family? Are we teaching our children these important lessons?
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