When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. - Marcus Aurelius
When circumstances shift beyond what is commonly understood as normative we are forced unwittingly to face our discomfort with unexpected change.
It is so easy to profess the often quoted cliches around how change is inevitable and necessary if we are grow and advance as a society but in reality it causes huge friction in our psychology.
Truth be told I have grown accustomed to a certain kind of beneficial privilege that feeds my entitlement, the right to a way of life that befits my inflated prerogative.
Over the last week mother nature has decided to radically change my living arrangements by uprooting trees, collapsing power lines and shutting down the power grid that fuels my comfort. No lights, hot water, Netflix or Sky TV, oh what tragedy has befallen me! It seems I have become so accustomed to the benefits that the societal super-powers have afforded me, and their sudden disconnect has exposed my soft first world underbelly.
I am the product of a social construct that has become fat with self indulgence, unable to cope without the creature comforts that prop up my entitlement. I wonder if this exposes my souls ability to be consistently grateful for what I have rather than what I don”t? If we are to understand that providence beats to the sound of a different drum we can then begin to trust that destiny is trying to teach us something, whether things are good, bad, or indifferent.
Maybe it's time to pause and thank the great ‘privilege gods’ for the beautiful benefits that have come my way and afforded me the lifestyle I have. In times like these we need to confront this over inflated expectation that causes us to unsuspectedly project our disappointments on to others, rather than accept what fate hands us.
Gratitude is salve for our soul, a response of deep appreciation for the small things in life that we can so often forget to acknowledge and treasure. Gratitude reawakens our memory, reminding us to take stock of the environment and notice the wonder that makes our world work at a its most minute and seemingly insignificant level. Privilege has the ability to stunt my attention span, it interrupts my need to stop and smell the roses, to take in the fragrant blessing that surrounds me, lest I get caught up in the inexhaustible lust for that which I don’t have and forget what I do.
I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude. - Brene Brown
When nature comes along and decides to upset my comfort zone, maybe she has a providential agenda that is trying to get my attention and ask me some really important questions, like...
What are you grateful for, and why?
Who are you grateful for, and why?
I am not suggesting that we will ever be free from our excessive addiction to entitlement, but maybe we can temper its hold on our soul by deliberating practicing gratefulness on a daily basis.
When the power comes back on I am sure that I will deteriorate back into my mind numbing world of privilege, so may these words be a prayerful reminder of the need for ongoing personal transformation.
‘Thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live’. - St Paul