Privileges: Being Thankful for What You Have

Mike lies down and contemplates his life. He thinks about all of the regrets he has made and thinks about his future, yet he cannot actually predict it. He continuously doubts. He doubts that later on in life, he will not be able to pursue his career ambitions and endeavors, ultimately being stuck in the cycle of being that guy who stays “6 years in undergrad”. He does not do well in school, as he has been arrested by the police for several charges and does not have a strong relationship with his family and friends. But at the end of the day, Mike always has the chance to reset his path and turnaround his life; Turnaround his life for the better and change himself to be someone with actual potential that will make a lasting impact on anything he does.

If you are reading this, you are privileged and blessed in many ways. As you read this article, you are either on your phone, computer, or laptop maybe sitting on a chair or lying down on your bed scrolling down social media pages wasting time. It is sad to see what we take for granted the privileges we have and instead complain about the things that we do not have; we have many wants such as a new car, the newest iPhone, or even wanting to attend a better college. But we, we are privileged in so many ways that we cannot get over the mere fact that everyday, we have food on our plates, clothes to put on, and lasting friendships.

Many individuals of our age, younger or even older, take life for granted. We take for granted our college education, maybe being funded through scholarships or support from our families. We take for granted the opportunity to learn and expand our intellectual capabilities, ultimately wasting our talents on things that are not beneficial. We are influenced by the perceptions of other people towards us, yet we are the only ones who control our lives.

Yet, some individuals are not born with these opportunities and privileges. One issue I have seen regarding privileges is about refund checks. There are two different groups of people in reference to refund checks: those who receive them because they have excess financial aid, and those who do not. If you do not receive refund checks, maybe you are fortunate enough to be able to pay for your own college or even receive a scholarship. However, there are those who receive refund checks who ultimately use the money they receive on things with temporary happiness and pleasure; yet, isn’t it suppose to go towards your academics, food expenses, and transportation needs just to name a few? I applaud and respect those who work and pay for their own college without their parents’ help; however, if your parents are the ones who pay for your college and when you receive that refund check of, let’s say, $1000, don’t you think they want you spending that on something beneficial instead of drugs, drinking, and concerts?

I give this example because social media exemplifies what is wrong with our generation. We complain about not having money, we complain about having a few dollars in our bank account, we complain so much YET those with very little complain the least. You can complain about not having a car or not getting a position at a top firm, yet when given the opportunity to save money and interview, you do not make it happen. For example, think of the homeless people out in the streets in your town. I personally had a talk with some of these individuals near Valvoline Instant Oil Change on Blaine Street, and they did not complain about not having a car nor having a career at a top firm. They were happy and thankful for just having a meal to eat and having blankets in the cold rain.

Being privileged is waking up after messing up in your life, whether it is in academics, personal life, or your career and having a second chance. Second chances are privileges because now you have another chance to prove your worth, another chance to be a better person, yet you can still mess up and wake up the next day feeling “lucky” again.

The point of this article is to show that we all have privileges, and that we should stop complaining about the things we want and instead be thankful for the things we have. Be thankful for having a family; some people do not have a mom or dad nor an intact family. Be thankful for having a roof over your head; some people do not even have a place to live and are out in the cold. Be thankful you are able to go to college; some people do not even have the opportunity because they are not able to provide the finances associated with colleges.

Next time you think about complaining or being ungrateful for something you do not have, think about what you do actually have. Because the things you have, the things you cherish, the things you need instead of want in life, truly do matter.

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