My step daughter and her husband are living in Aizuwakamatsu, Japan. He is teaching conversational English in elementary and middle schools. They have been there for several months and have already begun missing certain foods. Macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and anything Mexican so we sent them a couple care packages. They included Velveeta with macaroni, nutter butters and Mexican spices. After nine days the boxes arrived and they sent us a photograph of their dinner – Velveeta and broad beans. They said it was the best macaroni they had had in years.
Sometimes we take for granted the things we have around us all the time. Because they are readily available we forget what our days were like when our favorite things were not around. Then I began to think about the basics of life, the things that we take for granted everyday – power, water, air conditioning, enough food to eat, a clean bed to sleep in, people who love us and being safe. When you put all these things together we live a pretty privileged life.
One of the lessons of travel is learning to appreciate all the blessings of a life that not everyone in the world has the opportunity to experience. I’m proud of these two for living abroad, living without all the American things, and for living within their means together. It will set a great foundation for their future and change the way they think about the everyday elements of life in our country.
What lesson did you learn at an early age that changed the way to appreciate your current way of life? Take time today to remember the lessons from your days without all the luxuries you currently enjoy, and give thanks for all the hard work you accomplished to achieve the life you have today. You may not get excited about Velveeta and broad beans, but I know there is something that means accomplishment in your world.