Pause, Think and Be Grateful

I wonder how many times we think about how fortunate we are, how many times a day we feel good about ourselves for not being in the shoes of the mentally ill person we saw on the street running naked, how many times in our lives do we just stop complaining about the little things we don’t get to do; like not having coffee in the morning, missing lunch for a day because we were too busy chasing money, having a bad headache, etc…amidst all these, we tend to forget there is always a worse case scenario like someone who can’t afford to have coffee at all, someone who has not  had food for days, someone  who is suffering from endless pain…

It was on a random Wednesday afternoon that I was asked to chaperone a group of students. The school I work at performs community service at Mother Theresa House once a week. The Mother Theresa House is a shelter located around Sidist Killo, 10 minutes away (walking) from Addis Ababa University, College of Business and Economics. It mainly houses mentally ill and autistic children whose parents or family are unable to help financially, as well as children whose mothers are HIV positive. Even though I have been involved in some life changing community service projects before, this one was quite different. When I was there I was tempted to cry. I felt guilty for complaining about little things. Standing there in the compound, my heart literally ached from looking at the kids who had severe autism, or mild Down’s syndrome, some just sought a big long hug that they unconsciously appeared to miss every single time, some who suffer from bowel incontinence, and many other things that touched my heart. The experience made me ask deep questions. These are kids who are not fortunate enough to have the childhood many of us were granted. Even if a miracle happens and a cure is found for illnesses and the painful situation they find themselves in, I doubt that it would come in time for these kids. Likely that will come long after they have already died. 

Think of the childhood you had, regardless of the problems you may have encountered, you were able to have a healthy one. You made it out and you are here today at least able to read and comprehend this article. You probably complain about the little things in life that you were unable to have…but pause for a while, seize the moment, and think of all the things you have in your life, smile, and be grateful…you can make a difference in any way you can think of, after all you are healthy and can think logically, do you have an excuse? I know I don’t! 


2nd Year . February 2014 . No.12


Selam Mussie

EBR staff writter

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