Everyone has things that we take for granted. I live in the United States and there are many everyday rights that I know I take for granted. I observed a baptism this morning, and was reminded of a time in history when that was forbidden and knowing that in many countries it is still forbidden.
I was however thinking of some of the other more mundane things that we may take for granted that we may not think of as often.
Sight. Compliments. Family. A Father. A Mother. A home. The ability to read. Full use of all our limbs.
I tend to be a very practical person, that enjoys the truth. But when the day came when I needed some encouragement, and someone gave me a compliment, I realized the rarity of them. A well placed compliment can cheer your day. The lack of one can cause someone to spend the rest of the day wondering if they failed in some way. You may not realize that a few kindly said words about something someone did, said or performed, may brighten their day and cheer them for longer than those few moments.
I listened to a letter written by a loving father to his daughter this last week. The letter was moving in many ways for me, not only because it was worded in a poetic form of heartfelt depth, but because it made me grateful that many have fathers that are loving to their children. There are times when it can be easy to believe that does not exist anymore. I am thankful for those that let me infringe on private moments, sharing this with me. It gives me hope for humanity and joy for the future. I know it can be hard to allow others to view family togetherness, but when we sacrifice just a bit, you never may realize that you demonstrated something that will live beyond today.
If you are reading this, you likely are one of the many that learned to read as a child, and continued on, increasing your vocabulary in school. It may have been easy for you, it may have been a tad bit difficult, but more than likely, you are not one of the people that sincerely struggled to learn to read and may have given up. We have more programs out there to prevent this now, but in watching one bright, studious student struggle through reading lessons, year after year, it made me breathe a prayer of thanks for the ability to read. I am impressed by his tenacity, and saddened by the reactions of others when I see students reduced to tears by a learning disability. There is a shame in something that is nothing they can prevent. I was reminded how encouragement and joy in their minor achievements, while, they may not be like the child reading War and Peace at the age of six, they are worthy of celebrating and perhaps more so. More often, those children will learn to fight through the hardships of life, gain joy and rejoice in the little things. If you know someone that struggles, place an encouraging word in their path. Let them know you have seen how hard it is and how you appreciate them.
Remember to be grateful for the little things and share the love with others. Give to others of what you have. It might not be monetary, but it might be sharing what they have not.