The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Little Pleasures, Little Treasures

This morning I woke up and it was cold. It was cold and it was early, two elements of a morning I don’t particularly care for. I dragged myself out from underneath the comfort of my heating blanket, tucked my feet into fuzzy slippers and my body into a soft robe, trudged to the bathroom and began the process of undressing and thereby reversing my post-bed warm up. While in the shower, standing steadfast under the heat of the water, I caught myself complaining of the cold outside its reach and, given not only the recent events in Haiti but my full knowledge of the great poverty in the world, I felt ashamed. I had complained of my condition while basking in the warmth of one of my many blessings.

Too often I feel myself doing this and too often I realize that, in God’s eyes and no doubt in others, I can be difficult to please. When it’s cold out I wish for warm weather, when there’s warm weather I want it cold. When I have to study I want more free time, when I have free time I (sometimes) wish I had something to study. When we have quesadillas for dinner I want lemon chicken, when we have lemon chicken…well, okay, I really do love lemon chicken. My point though, and it’s nothing unique, is that more often than not I take for granted the good in my life, whether it be subtle things like hot running water or larger things like my college experience or my family. I have worked hard to be a person worthy and deserving of such blessings and yet I continually neglect to acknowledge them, choosing instead to focus on the negative or my seeming hardships. Sadly, I know that in this I am not alone. I see it in my younger siblings, I see it in my friends and colleagues, I even see it in my parents who have raised me to appreciate what I’ve been given.

And why is that? What is it about our society that makes us constantly ask more of our lives? What good is being a thinker, a worker, a care taker, a student, a teacher, technologically advanced, if we don’t take the time to appreciate it all? Certainly there are people in other cultures, far worse off than our own, who take the time to celebrate their good fortune and yet, as part of one of the wealthiest nations, we take so much for granted. Believe me, I understand having too much to do and the absence of time to breathe let alone count your numerous blessings. But, especially in the wake of natural disaster, global warming, terrorism, poverty etc., it is imperative that we take the time to recognize those elements that have made our lives worth rebuilding, worth fighting for, worth living.

So many things about the world today are the result of selfish thinking and carelessness, mankind has no doubt accumulated some very bad joo joo for itself in the past several decades alone. Perhaps in taking small moments to be thankful we can gain back some good karma and grow to appreciate our good fortune before it’s too late. For myself, though I lack the wisdom to provide a solution to the world’s greed, I know I am making an effort to recognize the little things, to thank my parents and my God for what they have given me, to acknowledge hard work and dedication when I see it and to try to be the change I now see the world needs.

-Heather Maupin


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