You’ve rolled over from a shitty nights sleep only to turn off your alarm clock and go back to sleep for an extra half hour. The result? You’ve slept in and you’re now on your way to work looking a mess. You didn’t even have time to prepare for the day ahead by making yourself look good and you’ve missed your morning tea/coffee and brekkie.
We’ve all been there, and chances are that a morning like this is going to turn into a nightmare of a day. It’s mornings, and indeed days, like these where it can be almost impossible to appreciate the positive things in life. I hate to say it, but I am guilty of not appreciating the little things in life sometimes.
We spent last week in the beautiful town of Cusco, Peru and something happened that made me take a step back and think, “Man, I need to stop complaining about stupid trivial things.”
Here’s what happened….
To get to our hostel where we were staying, we had to walk through the main square.
It’s a beautiful place that is full of tourists sitting in the park and strolling around taking in the wonderful sights of the impressive buildings and stunning architecture. Because there are so many tourists and such a buzzing atmosphere, it attracts many people who have reached a point in their lives that has forced them to take to the streets and beg for money.
Poverty is a huge problem in this part of the world, as it is in so many countries, and it’s a social problem that most of the world has become accustomed to. There were lots of people who came to the square each night, but there was one old man in particular that got my attention.
He stood in the same spot on the square every night with a harmonica in his mouth playing the same tune over and over again. He was always dressed in the same clothes and did a jumpy, almost erratic, movement to the tune that he was playing.
He also carried a stick as he was blind.
On this particular evening, we were returning to the hostel after having a lovely dinner in a local restaurant.
Strolling down the cobbled street towards the square, I turned to Carlo and started expressing my dislike about having to return to such a cold room when the temperature outside was so low.
“It’s fecking freezing in that room!”
“The bed isn’t exactly comfortable either, and we only have two blankets – I’m asking can we have another two.”
I was reiterating these silly statements again (just to annoy myself even more), and it was then that I noticed the old man that I just told you about.
He was walking a couple of yards in front of us, and was on his way to his usual spot where he would spend the next couple of hours playing his tune on his harmonica in the hope of getting some pesos off passerby’s.
He was alone with only his stick for guidance and was using it as a feeler to gain a sense of direction. Moving along quite slowly and carefully, he moved the stick from his right hand to this left, and it was at that moment that he walked straight into a wall that was in his path.
I don’t think he hurt himself as he just took a step back and resumed his journey down to his usual spot using his stick again for direction. This was one of those moments that made me feel like a terribly bad person.
Here I was, on my way back to a clean and comfortable hostel in a beautiful country, with a full stomach and the person I love by my side.
More importantly, I had my full eyesight and could walk without the aid of a stick, I could open my eyes and look around and appreciate the beauty that was around me. I could look at pictures, text on my phone and look into the eyes of my family and friends.
All of which this man was not able to do. I felt ashamed of myself for complaining about such trivial things in the first place.
So what if the bed was not comfy? We could get up and move to another hostel the following morning.
So what if the room was cold? We could just ask for more blankets.
It can be so hard to first of all RECOGNISE, and second of all APPRECIATE the positivity in life. (Click to Tweet)
And I think we’re all guilty of doing it at times, as it’s something that comes naturally to most of us.
So, yes you may be on the way to work looking a mess having missed your morning coffee and breakfast. But look on the bright side. You have a job to go to, you’re earning money, you have a warm and comfortable bed to sleep in at night and you can always make yourself look better in the car on the way to work and have an unusually big lunch to make up for missing breakfast.
There is positivity to be found in most situations – you just have to look for it sometimes, as it’s not always shining through.
I am writing this post to keep it as a reminder to myself that I need to recognise and appreciate the positivity in life more.
It’s a great sensation to be able to travel the world, experience new things and meet interesting people, but it’s an even better feeling to be able to open your eyes in the morning, get up out of bed unaided and be able to live life.
Can you relate to having a similar ‘Aha Moment’ to mine? Are you guilty of not appreciating the positivity in life sometimes?