Who is wise, and who is foolish? Who is rich and who is poor? Who is healthy, who is sick? Who is happy, and who is sad? It’s not an easy question to answer. Everything is, of course, relative. More importantly, it all depends on our perspective.
Deuteronomy 11: 26 says, “See I give you this day a blessing and a curse.” How we see will determine what we see. Whether your life is a blessing or a curse can depend more on your own perspective than on the hard realities on the ground.
I think of the people of Ukraine today. Those who are still living there and those who managed to get out with one or two suitcases in which to pack up all their life’s possessions. Can we even begin to imagine the hardships they are enduring? What about our own grandparents or great grandparents who left to escape the holocaust on ships to the new world? Many of them came with not more than the shirts on their backs, and they had to start from scratch just to survive. In comparison our lives are a breeze. Even those who are suffering financial pressures are living in luxury compared to them.
There’s a Hebrew proverb that says. “the troubles of the many are half a comfort.” The idea is that although times may be tough, the fact that many others are going through similar difficulties somehow eases our pain.
When I think back to the story’s of my Hungarian grandmother telling me how difficult her life was and her time coming to America to escape the holocaust. I have to shed a tear. But them I remember she always happy, no matter what she went through, even the dirt floor houses and the fire pit in the middle, her husband and 5 children sleeping in one room to stay warm. She survived many things in her lifetime, but she always appreciated the small things.
If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep, you are richer that 75% of the world.
If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the millions of people who will not survive this week
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation, you are luckier that 759 million people alive or suffering.
Many men and women have fought for what you have right now. Your freedom, to speak, and act in a certain way. Whether you hate them and this great American flag and Anthem. Someone fought so you could hate it.
If you read this message, you are more than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
We will all be far happier and realize how much we have to be grateful for, if we know how to see the blessing, rather than the curse. By developing perspective in life, we learn how to count our blessings. Only then do we realize how truly blessed we really are, and how truly happy we can be.
“See, I give you this day a blessing…“