Recently a pair of old shoes that I was using as slippers fell totally apart, so bad that I tripped and nearly hurt myself a few times. After I chucked them into the garbage, I went into my room in search of another pair of old shoes to use. Well, I didn’t see any prospective choices at first. I just saw old worn sneakers with splits in them and a pair of overly worn pair of summer work shoes.
As my frustration grew at not having any shoes to wear around the place, I noticed that not only did I not have a suitable pair of old shoes to use for slippers; I also needed new sneakers and new work shoes. Which also reminded me that I needed new clothes for work because those were beginning to wear out as well. Which then beg the question where was I getting the money for all these new things I needed? At that point, I was so frustrated with my current situation that I threw my hands up and yelled “I have nothing!”
But almost as soon it those words left my mouth; I realized how wrong I was. I instantly corrected myself and thought I don’t have nothing; I have a lot more than many other people.
It is times like these that confuse and trouble those of us in the first world who are practicing gratitude. We are not rich enough to just go out and buy a new pair of shoes, but we have shoes. We are not rich enough to just go buy new clothes. We may accessorize to hide the micro holes and stains but we have many clothes to wear.
I ran into this same problem last year as well. My spirit kept moving me to get a bigger apartment but I felt so guilty about it. Did I really need a bigger place? Shouldn’t I be grateful for the place I have? In the cozy apartment we had, the previous family fit 5 people in the same space we fit 3. And here I was looking for more. We already have so much more than many others, and yet we are conditioned to want more. How do you progress in the first world and not feel greedy?