The importance of being grateful for what we have & Things to be grateful for

(Picture of a Lady in Muine a fishing town in Vietnam cooking the catch of the day for tourists)

Last night I watched the Documentary Living on One Dollar on Netflix and highly enjoyed watching it, if you haven’t seen it I totally recommend it. The story is based around a couple of college friends that go out to Guatemala to experience how some of the poorest people in the world live day by day. I could not stop but remember of the many places we visited in South East Asia that resembled the lives of the people in the documentary.

Something that stands out from being around people who have not many material possessions and next to nothing when it comes to money and assets is that oftentimes these people seem to be contempt with their lives, they accept the way they live and are not unhappy because of it. On the other hand in our highly materialistic culture we find unhappy people because they could not afford the newest car or smartphone. If you have some cash right now to go to a restaurant and order anything you like, or go buy a new shirt or pair of shoes you are very wealthy by worldwide standards.

Check out this website ( which based on your income will tell you where you actually sit on income level when compared to everyone else in the world. If you make an income of say $30,000 USD per year, you are already in the top 2% of the richest people in the world. Yet many people in the US and Europe feel very underprivileged with such salary because they can’t afford a new Audi or a bigger house.

We need to start looking at the bigger picture, it is good to have a healthy ambition and strive for more economic prosperity in your life, but when you start comparing and hating your life every time you see a Ferrari pass by, it is time to re-arrange your priorities.

If you compare your situation to people around the world you will find out that:

– In 2005, 43% of the world population (3.14 billion people) have an income of less than $2.5/day. 21.5% of the world population (1.4 billion people) have an income of less than $1.25/day.

– In 2008, 17% of the people in the developing countries are on the verge of starvation.

– The proportion of poor people (with less than $3,470/year) is 78%. The proportion of rich people (with more than $8,000/year) is 11%. (Source)

As you can see if you compare your current situation with that of most people in the world you are very rich. I tell people I meet that as we should have a healthy ambition, we should also look down to people with less resources and be very grateful of what we have. Chances are if you are reading this post in your computer or smartphone you are not worrying about where your next meal is coming from.

Things to be grateful for:

There are millions of things that you should be grateful for.

Start by being grateful that you are able to see and hopefully you are in good health to be able to read this article.

Be grateful everyday that you have food in your plate and that you don’t have to worry about where your next meal will come from.

Most importantly be grateful that you can decide at any point in time what you want to do with your life. Most people in the world simply do not have the option to do anything they wish for. Chances are that if you really wanted to do anything you put your mind into you will eventually get it, where people who were born in less fortunate situations do not have the luxury to do what they wish with their lives.

Take a minute every day to reflect on this and you will start finding more happiness in your life. At the same time find out how you can help someone around the glove improve their standard of living. If all of us, the top 10% earners of the world (Again if you make more than $14,000USD per year you are part of this group) contribute in any small fraction the remaining 90% of the less fortunate people around the world, we will be part of a change to help someone live a better life and leave a better world for our kids to enjoy. Hopefully one where equality is cherished at a higher level by everyone.

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