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As we watch the evening news, we see a lot of suffering happening at home and around the world. How can we complain about our own misfortunes when we know what is happening to people who don’t have the blessing of living in America or other western nations who are free?
It is true that, although we have many in America who are poor, the poorest among us cannot possibly be worse off than those in countries like Syria and North Korea. Even considering those living on our own city streets, living in city parks in tents or under the freeway, cannot compare to the conditions we see on television of children, old people, and families. It makes our hearts ache to see such suffering.
Almost every day something is on the news about President Trump doing something, about corruption in government, and fears that North Korea and possibly nations like Russia are planning WWIII ( with North Korea hitting our West Coast with an atomic bomb).
Sure there are terrible things going on right here at home and abroad (terrorist attacks and natural disasters all over the United States), but we rarely hear about all the good things happening unless the media thinks it’s News Worthy (such as people helping each other in a natural disaster).
March 18, 2011: on JulynneConsulting.wordpress.com, I reported the following about suffering.
Rick Leventhal just reported that the conditions in Libya are worse now than they were before the UN’s no fly order. The water, electricity, gas, and food are shut off from the people so they are going without the necessities of life. Gaddafi is slaughtering the rebels with heavy artillery without mercy, just as he promised to do if they did not surrender.
Next, I hear on the news that Yemen has thousands killed by police firing on people. However, the President of Yemen says that people are firing on each other and the police have done none of the shooting on citizens. Right?
Of course, Japan’s disaster and their unimaginable suffering dominates our television screens. We even see animals comforting each other.
One story showed two dogs in the rubbish with one on the ground injured. The other dog affectionately put his paw on the injured one and licked it like we would hug and kiss a child.
There is a gray squirrel jumping out of trees and latching on to people’s arms and hanging on.
People are found in cars and even homes still intact after being caught in the rubble from the tsunami.
Precious babies are born in the midst of chaos, and one found alive after being swept out of the arms of her mother by a wall of water.
I then look[ed] at what I’ve complained about and think “What am I complaining for? I have a warm home and food in the cupboards and refrigerator. My husband has a job and he gets paid well enough. I have two cars that run and enough money to put gas into them, at least for now I do have enough. I even have enough money to buy a candy bar or a soda if I want to, and I think nothing of it.
I am sitting her posting this blog on a laptop computer and using high-speed Internet to connect. The news I’m watching is on a big screen and high-definition TV set. Really, what is there to complain about? I feel too privileged when I think of Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Palestine, and Japan. Nothing I experience can compare to their suffering and to their lives.
However, I then realized that with privilege comes responsibilities. We MUST get out of our zone of comfort (I don’t mean comfort zone) and pay attention to those around us who are not as privileged. We may not have much to give others in crisis but we always have something that we can give.
[For example] I found that I had an extra room to help a friend leave a dysfunctional lifestyle and turn herself around. She didn’t cost me a cent. She paid for the gas I used to take her to and from work and she, in turn, did the dishes and took out the garbage.
I also had a peaceful backyard with birds singing and shade trees to rest under when we wanted out of the sun. She could sit in the yard in peace, read a book, and listen to music. This replenished her soul and gave her strength to heal. When she was ready, my wounded bird flew home. That’s what Brenda , my friend, named a poem she wrote about her experience here.
JUDY’S WOUNDED BIRD IS FLYING HOME
A LITTLE BIRD THAT FELL FROM HER NEST
WOUNDED WITH TORN WING
HAD LOST HER VOICE AND COULD NOT SING
AND HER LITTLE BODY BEGAN TO STING
WHILE LAYING ON THE GROUND
A STRANGER WITH BLUE EYES PASSED BY
PICKED UP THE WOUNDED BIRD AND WHISPERED
“MY LITTLE BIRD” DON’T YOU CRY
SHE TOOK THE LITTLE BIRD
INTO HER LOVING HOME
AND NURSED HER BACK TO HEALTH
AND MADE HER STRONG
IN TIME THE BLUE EYED ANGEL KNEW ONE DAY
THE LITTLE BIRD WOULD WANT TO FLY HOME
BACK TO HER FORMER NEST
WITH FAMILY SHE SO DEARLY WANTED TO BELONG
THE LITTLE BIRD’S MOTHER AWAITS
FOR HER WOUNDED CHILD
FOREVER GRATEFUL TO THE ANGEL WITH THE BLUE EYES,
THAT HELP MEND HER LITTLE WOUNDED BIRD
JUDY’S LITTLE BIRD IS STRONGER
AND READY TO FLY
AND WILL ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL
FOR THE BLUE EYED ANGEL
WHO LOVED HER WHEN SHE FELL FROM HER NEST
This experience cost me nothing, but what I got back was precious and rare. A friendship developed that will never be forgotten and I’ll cherish forever.
The planet we live on is in turmoil and chaos, and it’s all around the globe. We can cave in and become cynical, hateful, and closed off from others and their suffering or we can embrace life and the blessings we share.
My purpose in writing this post is to get you thinking about your own blessings and try to appreciate what you have instead of complaining about what you don’t have. Look outside of yourself and see others. Do what you can to make their lives better and at the same time, make your lives better as well.