I Am Grateful

pablo (5)
وأنا ممتن حقا

Translated means: “I Am Grateful”

Lately I have been swapping my English skills with an older gentleman from Cairo who is helping me with my Arabic. We have our lesson at a local coffee shop and then we chat for a little while.

Today he told me how much he appreciates being in the United States. He said that although he misses his family, Cairo leaves little to be desired–even without the political unrest. He told me about the horrible poverty, how people are impolite, that it is very dirty, and there are scam artists everywhere.  Yet, his description of the city didn’t surprise me much.  I mean, Cairo is not just a small city along the Nile.  It is actually one of the most densely populated cities in the world.  His description was how I would describe several of the large cities I’ve been to in the US.

However, what struck me was the way he lit up when he talked about the freedoms, openness and our generally good standard of living in this country. At that moment, I couldn’t help but realize how much I really do take for granted in my daily life. Yes, I may be tired of my town with it’s cliques, transplant trust-funders, and same old bars, but clearly, I’ve been missing the point.

We live in a country where we can do whatever we want if we set our mind to it. Hell, sometimes our government will even help us.  Anyway . . .I’m going to start sounding like a mom at the dinner table telling her kid to eat his vegetables because there are starving kids in Africa.  Seriously, we are so lucky that we can read the books we want.  We are lucky that we drive the car we drive.  We are lucky to be able to listen to the music we choose.  We are lucky to PAY THE TAXES we pay in order to drive on roads or frequent the public library. We are lucky to live in our houses, and even have the overwhelming selection of food at the store.  We are lucky to have these choices . . . because there are so many people in this world who do not.

This afternoon I had the privilege of learning, not only a beautiful language, but also a life lesson–one that I quietly found and would like to share with you:

Be grateful . . . for all you have.
Be grateful.

“Shukran” (Thank you)

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