How Do You Compare Your Life With Others?

THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THIS BLOG IN OCTOBER 2014. DUE TO A SERVER FAILURE, IT WAS LOST. IT IS REPOSTED HERE.


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When I was going through some old emails recently, I found two that made me think — again —of how blessed I am.

Of course, every day I know that I am extremely blessed. Not only do I live in a community where I don’t have to make dinner, but I get to make new friends every day. I sit here in an office that is air conditioned. My needs are well taken care of and I am most grateful to live in a country where I can speak my piece without fear.

Since I received these emails over ten years ago, the statistics to which they refer are at least ten years out of date. I imagine some references to the gap between you and others are less and some are more. But the idea that we often take our lives for granted is still quite clear.

There were two pieces of wisdom in the emails.

The first encourages us to compare ourselves to those with less, rather than to those who are higher on the ladder of fame and fortune.

If you woke up this morning
with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the
million who won’t survive the week.

If you have never experienced
the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or
the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people
around the world.

If you attend a church meeting
without fear of harassment,
arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost
three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator,
clothes on your back, a roof over
your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank,
in your wallet, and spare change
in a dish someplace, you are among
the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If your parents are still married and alive,
you are very rare,
especially in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile
on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can,
but most do not.

If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them
or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can
offer God’s healing touch.

If you can read this message,
you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world
that cannot read anything at all.

You are so blessed in ways
you may never even know.

The second piece of wisdom in the email was titled “What Goes Around Comes Around.” Actually, I’m not exactly sure what that means, and you may have already seen this, but it’s still good advice for the heart.

Work like you don’t need the money.
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Dance like nobody’s watching.
Sing like nobody’s listening.
Live like it’s Heaven on Earth

If what I write is a blessing to you by encouraging you to enrich your life and your relationships, I am very glad.

How do you count your blessings?

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