Friday, February 19, 2010

Charmed Life

I lead a charmed life. Really, I do.

While 80% of the world lives on less than $10 a day, I happily blow double that amount in one lunch out.

25,000 children die every due to extreme poverty while my sons complain about bathing, eating their vegetables, and taking the icky medicine that they are prescribed when they're sick.

Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their own name, but I spend my days agonizing over the many nuances of twenty synonyms for "beautiful."

Millions of women structure their entire lives on the collection of water (usually from sources that do not meet basic sanitary requirements). However, when I'm thirsty, I walk to the kitchen and turn on the tap. If I'm refreshed before the glass is empty, I pour it down the drain as if it's "only" water.

Half the world's population lives in cities. In 2005, one out of every three urban dwellers was living in slum conditions. Yet my ("tiny") home boasts four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a gorgeous, green yard where my kids run and play.

1.6 billion people live without electricity. I often forget to turn off my lights.

It would cost 6 billion dollars annually to provide basic education for all. A staggering number, until you consider that Americans spend 8 billion dollars a year on cosmetics. I just placed an order with Mary Kay.

It's so easy sometimes to want what I don't have: a bigger house, nicer clothes, new furniture, a car that doesn't have a screechy heater, a vacation to some warm, tropical destination... The list could go on and on and on. But when I start feeling entitled, as if I deserve more, I'm in desperate need of a reality check. Just look at my beautiful home. It features cupboards full of food, air-conditioning when it's hot, heat when it's cold, warm clothes and blankets, a stocked medicine cabinet in case someone gets a headache, cough, or sniffly nose, electricity that works 24/7 365 days a year, running water that I use for everything from bubble baths to drinking, happy, healthy children, and even a spoiled dog. In the summertime, we sit beneath this pergola and indugle in wine, conversation with friends, and lazy stargazing...

There's no doubt about it. I lead a charmed life. Do you?

*Stats taken from


  1. Yes, I do, but I have to admit that I wish my pergola more resembled your photo than it does at the moment...the snow is cramping my pergola's style... :-)

  2. I most definitely do, and I complain about it far too much. I have a decent (although seriously overpriced) apartment, a nice car, good-quality clothes, amazing job, working towards a college degree, an amazing best friend, and then some. And yet, I still find things to complain about. Although, if I braved to get more personal the one thing I complain about the most is somewhat least in my opinion.

  3. I'm sick of snow, too, Miriam! Enough is enough...

    Lauren, do you dare? What do you complain about the most? For me, it's my house. Well, not that I complain about it--I LOVE it. But it feels too small these days...

  4. Wow... Yes, I complain far too much.
    We have recently had some issues with the place that we were living in and I was so frustrated with my landlord and that I have to move while my husband is still overseas, and this totally just put it all into perspective. How many people go without housing while I complain about the one that I'm staying in?

  5. What a wonderful, inspirational post Nicole. Such a fantastic reminder as we all complain about mindless things every day.

  6. My husband and are are currently doing a Bible study. Just last week the pastor leading the study gave us a POWER POINT (not a microsoft presentation...a statement that packs a power punch)that made both of us stop and think about what comes out of our mouths on a daily basis. The power point was this..."God hates complaining, and you should treat complaining like poison because that is exactly what it is. Do you know what complaining says to God? It says, 'God, I don't like what You're doing in my life right now, and if I were you I would do it differently.' Complaining is rebellion and a lack of the fear of the Lord." Those words are not my words but rather a quote/excerpt from the lesson. However, the words hit there mark in our home. We are currently going through many changes and I have found myself especially "complainy" about my life sitaution at present as we just bought a house in a location that I don't desire to be in. Your post has really spoken to me, as well as given me affirmation about the lesson on complaining. I am striving toward less complaining and more joyful contentment.

  7. I'm glad this made sense to someone other than just me. It's hard not to feel justified in our complaining because someone ALWAYS has it better than us. But the truth is, most people have it way worse than us... We just need to look down the ladder instead of up.

    Monika, Amanda, blessings to you.

    B, thanks for sharing that amazing power point. Complaining is rebellion. Ouch. A great reminder.