Taken for Granted 4-22-2018


It’s hard to remember the things which come easily and abundantly into our lives might not be abundant in other people’s lives. For example, I take for granted I will have someplace to go, to live, to be safe and secure between walls and roof and floor. But how many other people, both in America and beyond, don’t have the safety and security of a place to live?

Probably more than I could ever imagine, since I can’t even image what it would it be like to be homeless. I’m sure it won’t be like Sam in My Side of the Mountain or Claudia From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. If homelessness was running away to live in the woods for a year or running away to live in a museum, I’d be all over that. I’ve always wanted to run away to live in the woods, with a nice cozy tree to live in and a pet falcon. And I’ve always wanted to live in a museum. Or a tree-house.

See, those are my fantasies from childhood. Maybe another child fantasized about living in a house with four walls, heat, AC and a working kitchen and bathroom. Maybe another child fantasized about hot dogs and beans.

I take for granted I will always have food to eat, if I can just figure out what – in all the choices available – I’d like to eat. There are people in the world who don’t have that choice. Often they have to choose between eating or some other necessarily of life.

So many things we take for granted. Without even thinking about it, I can walk into a store and buy a drink and some chips. Not everyone can.

I can stay warm inside my house. I can stay cool. I can stay dry. Not everyone can.

I can go to school. I can choose to continue education. I can choose to move anywhere I want. I know that if I walk from my house to my car, I am normally fairly safe. I can work in my backyard without being afraid. I can go out to eat, see a movie, decided to take a trip, make some popcorn, take a flight, go to a ballgame or anywhere else I might wish to go or anything I might wish to do.

But not everybody is so lucky. I’m sure that, even in my neighborhood, there are people who do not have the same freedoms and luxuries I enjoy.

How do we fix this problem? I don’t know, but I do know that every single step we take forward, each time one of us ripples the universe with a gesture of love and acceptance and togetherness, the entire world takes a step forward. I can’t feed the children in Africa, but I can help feed the children in my own town.

I can remember those things which come easily for me, don’t come so easily for all. I can open my hand and my heart to let little bits of my ‘things’ free for others.

If each of us, the hundreds and thousands and millions of us, opened our hands and our hearts to let little bits of love and hope and caring free, we might not recognize the world when we wake up tomorrow.

What an answer to all our prayers!