If you travel you probably have realized how luxurious we have it in the United States. One of the things that surprised me most about going to Mexico is how things I take for granted are very different.
I was in Mexico and stopped at a roadside gas station and the men’s room had no privacy for the men. I had never been in that situation before but (when in Rome) do what needs to be done. This wasn’t the bottom of the line. At another place in Mexico the rest rooms had no electricity or power, so someone manually took the bucket and dumped it. Can you imagine having that job? You have to tip the person who takes the bucket. I was at a bit of a loss. How do you tip someone who does this kind of job? I gave him a big tip because that has to be the worst job on the earth to have.
The point of this isn’t to complain about the conditions that I temporarily faced. They taught me something about how little people have. The point is that we should be so grateful for everything that we have and enjoy. I think we sometimes feel we need more because of advertising, but we have way more than we realize.
Another example is when I went to Canada and the hotel didn’t have the things that a middle class US citizen is used to. I was a teen-age when I went but I think it didn’t have something basic like a massaging shower-head. You know where you can switch it so that it pulses the water at you. I was surprised. You assume that the things you have everyone has access to, and when you travel you realize how different people s situations are.
Another example on the trip to Mexico I saw such poverty of material things and richness of spirit. I hiked into the mountains and there was a poor village who barely had any buildings they were so poor. The biggest building is their church and they were so proud of it. It was obvious from the surroundings how much effort it had taken to construct it. How critical their faith is in their lives. They were so happy that their church had visitors and created interest in their town. Can you imagine living in little more than earthen huts with no electricity, water, sewage but still being happy? They had a doctor who traveled there, and due to their location and their income they couldn’t afford those necessities of life.
Anyone who can read these words has probably a great deal to be thankful for. You not only have shelter, but electricity, technology and the spare time to enjoy it. I hope that one day we all have our needs taken care of, and everyone can enjoy the things we enjoy now.