Take Nothing for Granted

March 27, 2007

We think we have it bad with credit card debt, crappy health insurance, and high gas prices but in reality we’re living a life others only dream about.

A Different World
My parents make bi-annual visits to Central America to provide health care for some of the poorest people in the Americas. They recently returned from a trip and relayed the sad yet hopeful story of a mother who had suffered a stroke and could no longer care for her family that lived in a tiny one-room home with a dirt floor high in the mountains.

With only a minor amount of teaching and practice the family learned how they could help her regain her mobility. Despite their meager household and medical obstacles, this family works together and continues on with life with the best attitude they can muster.

Take Nothing for Granted
After hearing many stories such as these it’s easy to realize that I often take many things in life for granted. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of our society but remembering this mother and her family reminds me of how fortunate I really am. Thinking of their situation helps me stop and enjoy a quite moment with my son or marvel at a fresh spring day.

Making a Difference
Not only do these stories make me count my blessings, they also remind me of my responsibility as a global citizen to help out those less fortunate than I am. I’m ashamed to admit that other than annual cash contributions to Mercy Corp there isn’t much in my life that helps those in need. I have several ideas for changing that in 2007, I’ll let you know how they go.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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4 Responses to Take Nothing for Granted

  • Susan

    Yep! Excellent reminder: even the poorest of us fare better than most in other countries. We’re not perfect but we’re not bad. My mantra these days is, “it’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you got.” –Sheryl Crow (musician)

  • Emm

    I agree, it’s so easy to get caught up in our problems and not realize all that is right in our lives. As often as possible, usually a few times a week I take a couple of minutes and make myself sit down quietly and write out at least three things I’m grateful for. Taking the time to write those things out does something; it slows me down enough to really assess; to see all that I already have; all that is already going well in my life. Compared to other places in the world, our quality of life is so much better here in the US and we have so many more opportunities. I’m thankful for that!

  • limeade

    I love the subject and actually wrote a quick post about it the other day (living is giving). I’ve never been after wealth for the toys, but for the enabling power it has to give us time freedom.


  • Harm

    I know we have it good….I have this recurring fear
    that I’ll someday find myself as one of the refugees
    we see in the movies (or news), and I’m at least
    grateful for the prosperity I’ve always had in my life.