How Lucky Are We?

What does it mean to be lucky? Is it having a well paid job or maybe being so rich that we don’t need to work at all? I’m sure most, if not all of us would love to win the lottery. Then what? Go on a cruise around the world? Give some to charity? Look after our friends and family?

We don’t always need money or amazing jobs and big houses to be lucky though. I live in a studio flat and barely manage to scrape the money together each month for food, rent and bills.

I’ll complain if I can’t go to the cinema or buy the outfit that I don’t even need or when I could buy a cheaper alternative. I’m sure most people have something they complain about. It’s only human nature to want things. However, I find myself feeling lucky more and more these days. No I didn’t win the lottery, get promoted or find an amazing job. I didn’t even discover a rich relative who kindly decided to buy me a mansion to make up for all the years we didn’t know each other.

I feel lucky about the little things. This may sound silly but only a few days ago I was in my bathroom and caught sight of my bottle of mouth wash on the sink, then looked at my shampoo, conditioner and shower gels scattered around the bath. They’re not expensive brands, most of these items cost a few pounds or less. I feel lucky to have them though and for the fact I have a bathroom at all. I’m lucky I have a place where I can wash and condition my hair, wash my body with shower gel and hot water, clean my teeth and use mouth wash afterwards. These are all simple things that so many take for granted. That is, until we don’t have them any more.

I’ve never been homeless, so don’t know what it’s like to not have a home, although I have come closer than I would like on many occasions. So that’s just another thing to feel lucky for, family who have helped me out when I’ve needed them the most. I’m guilty of complaining about them at times too.

So why am I lucky to have a bathroom? I once spent six months living in a bedsit without it’s own bathroom. Of course there was a shared bathroom, but this was filthy. I’ll spare you the details of the state it was in or the kind of things spread across it’s walls, although I’m sure you can imagine if you tried. Needless to say I didn’t use it. I had a small room with a toilet in my bedsit, so I used that when I needed the toilet, but for bathing or showering I had to make the 3 mile journey to my parents house. So now I feel lucky to have a bathroom.

I also feel lucky to have food, even if it’s just beans on toast. Living in Manchester in the UK, there’s a lot of homeless people, as I’m sure they are in many towns in the UK and in many other places around the world. Just the fact that I can go into my kitchen , cook some beans on the hob and put some bread in the toaster, makes me luckier than those who are unfortunate enough to be homeless. I may sometimes forget to feel lucky that I can do this. Sometimes I just want a chicken bhuna or some fish and chips. I forget to be grateful for the food I do have, the food which keeps be alive and the fact that I didn’t have to sit in a doorway begging people for money to buy it. Most people would just ignore me if I did.

That leads me to my next point. Is it enough to feel lucky about the little things? I think we all need to stop and look at our lives from time to time. Most of us are lucky in some way compared to those less fortunate. The danger though is that we’ll begin to look down on people. Its good to appreciate what we have, but then we should be helping those who don’t have what we have. That can be difficult when we feel that we don’t have anything to give. I think many people have something to offer though. We might have clothes, in good condition, but we just don’t wear them any more, maybe even a little spare food to donate. When we really look at what we have lying around, we realise we have something to offer. Let’s just assume we don’t have anything to give, we still have time. We can stop and talk to people in need and listen to what they have to say. Sometimes that can help to change someone’s day for the better. Of course they’re still in the same situation afterwards, but for those who are ignored day after day, being noticed can make a difference. There’s always charities looking for volunteers to spend their time helping people. Just a simple search on the internet will tell you where you can help locally.

So take a few moments to realise how lucky you are, think small, because small blessings all add up. Then think big and help somebody else.

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