Why am I so blessed? I listen to the news and images of E-bola and ISIS assault me.
Simply by birth location I have been granted a life of peace and security.
Simply by birth, I have been granted parents who loved me and supported me physically, emotionally, and financially. They did not abandon me for their own good. They encouraged me to grow, to explore, to play. They encouraged me and congratulated me when I achieved anything. They loved my writing. They loved my singing. They loved my dancing and acting. No matter how good, or how bad, they were always there to support me. As a result, I took risks to do things I had never done before – to fall knowing that I could get back up – always.
I was granted an education without having conditions based on whether I could afford a uniform. I am privileged to have a post-secondary education that opened doors for me. I have been blessed that I can give back that education to others and explore pedagogical approaches that are appropriate and effective. I can read. I can write. I am literate in so many ways.
I was given opportunities to learn without fear of reprisal. I am not limited to reading censored material, but am encouraged to read information that may provoke conversation and dialogue.
I chose my partner for life. It was not up to someone else to arrange my married life. I am treated like a princess. I am loved. I love back. I am free within this marriage to take a different stand and still feel confident that I am safe to express myself. I trust. I am trusted. I rejoice and share in life’s celebrations.
I was blessed with three beautiful and healthy children who are the apples of my eye. They all have access to a free and high quality health care system. They are safe. I can help them when they need help. I can support them when they need support. I can listen to them when they need to speak. They think of me. They love me. They are empathetic. They are brilliant and confident. They share their lives with me and I share mine with them.
I have faith in my doctors. I have access to “free” health care (I know, technically we pay through taxes! ) so that I don’t have to pay the price of chemo. I don’t worry that my health would come at the cost of my house. I have no idea about chemicals, procedures, and regimes that will save my life. I don’t need to know. I have faith that my doctors know what they are doing and will act in my best interests.
I have friends. Friends who pray. Friends who support, comfort, and nourish my soul. My friends bring me flowers, cards, food, even cleaning ladies. I have friends who brings me scarves, wisdom, and beautiful poems. My friend’s dad offers me wisdom: “It is normal to be afraid, but don’t ever be afraid to pray. Praying with faith will melt the worry and fear like the sun on snow.” I am in their hearts. I am in their prayers. And they are in mine.
I have a house where I can retreat from the rest of the world. The house is warm. The house is comfortable. The house is full of love. It is my security blanket. It is where I retreat when the world tosses challenges at me. From my house, I can emerge strong and re-energized.
I have a job that I love. My students have become my cheer-leaders. I am remembered by students I taught nearly 30 years ago and students I taught only several weeks ago. I am blessed. These students inspire me, guide me, and encourage me. They care. I care about them. We move our lives forward, together. Their success is my success and my success is theirs. My career has benefits that allow me to focus on healing. I need not work while I am sick. I have benefits that cover my expenses. My husband has care. I have care. I always feel significant in my work. I feel like I have purpose.
I am blessed.
To reach out and help where I can is a blessing. If it is better to give than to receive, then I need to remember to accept help. I am offered help. I hesitate to accept. I am offered help. I am too proud to accept. I am offered help. I need to accept.
Why am I so blessed? How would my life be different if I were the one to be affected by Ebola and the instability presented by the threat of and ISIS invasion? Would I still feel blessed? Would I give up? Would I still take my privilege for granted? Why are some so very lucky and others struggle to survive? I feel guilt. I feel inequity. I feel injustice. With great blessings, comes great responsibility. I am responsible to learn about the world. I am responsible to step up to the plate to help others where I can. I am responsible to support, nurture others as I have been supported and nurtured.
I feel so very grateful for everything I am and am going to be – as I sit in my chair in front of a fire and count my blessings.