Do you ever find yourself taking things for granted, or perhaps having some of the best times of your life one day, then the next day you are caught up in trifling matters, feeling lousy, and not remembering the great times you had yesterday?
One condition that afflicts me a lot of the time is taking circumstances for granted. For example, my two eyes, two legs, and two hands – I rarely think about the awesomeness of such gifts to me. I did nothing to earn them, yet, as for now – I have them gratis, to do with them as I will. Many people do have this luxury.
On a more general point, I often find myself taking food for granted, and shelter too. Rarely do I take the time to appreciate each sip of an avocado-kale smoothie or each chew of a banana, yet some part of me knows that each one of those motions is special.
It unsettles me how easily we fall into patterns of taking things for granted, and I’m convinced that if we stopped taking things for granted, particularly the greatest gifts endowed to us at birth – our brilliant minds and incredibly complexly functioning bodies, we’d all be living in much greater planes of happiness and gratitude and would likely forget about petty concerns.
To help combat this problem of taking things for granted, I’ve spent a week in blindness and then a separate week without food, only drinking water. Surprisingly, at the end of the week in blindness, I was not particularly anxious to take of my blindfold, and in fact went on for an extra day before I had to pack up and head off to school. Similarly, at the end of the week of fasting, I was not hungry. I really wanted to know what it meant to be hungry, but alas, one week without food is not really enough to accomplish such a feat. My mind simply chose to focus on other things, and my body made the appropriate adjustments to feel well. Such a smart body, and yet I have little idea how it works.
Nonetheless, coming up in less than 2 weeks is a Street Retreat that I will undergo with my brother on the streets of New York City. Among other things, I hope this will help me to appreciate some of the more basic joys of life that I generally take for granted, such as food and shelter. Additionally, I hope to gain a greater understanding for the conditions that catalyze homelessness so that I may then pursue preventative measures in the future. Fellowship with the homeless is also a primary purpose. I see no reason why they are not worthy of such time and attention.
Any donations to support this endeavor would be much appreciated! You can donate to the homeless shelter I will be working at after the Street Retreat here:
Samaritan Inn Ministries is a fantastic shelter with a rehabilitation program, Project Cornerstone, that offers all those wishing to engage in the recovery process an opportunity to overcome poverty and addiction and begin to give back to the community. I hope to facilitate the recovery process and help the shelter any way that I can.
Thanks so much!