by Pete Ferguson
There once was a couple whose life-long dream was to board a cruise ship and sail from New York to London. They dreamed of walking along the River Thames, visiting Big Ben, and taking in all the grander of Buckingham Palace.
They saved for two years for the passage and, wanting to keep all of their money for London, packed a suitcase full of of crackers, cheese, tuna fish, and other food to eat on board in order to keep costs down.
Each evening, they would see other couples dress up and depart for dinner while they would congratulate themselves for their thrift and stow away into their room for their repetitive meal.
After two weeks, the final night of the cruise approached and they decided they could take no more of crackers and cheese, and after all, they deserved a bit of fun, so they took some money out of their savings, spent an hour getting dressed up proper, and headed to the dining room.
When the wonderful evening concluded, they remained at their table while others filed away. Finally, their waiter returned to their table and asked how he could help. They informed him they were waiting for the check.
With a puzzled look on his face, the waiter informed them all meals, day trips and activities had been included in the fare they had paid.
While they could have feasted on a variety of international delicacies, they had instead suffered through now stale crackers, dried out cheese, and canned tuna from a now smelly suitcase!
Would you believe me if I told you that just by being able to read this blog you are likely in the top 3-5% of the world in privilege? (See bottom of this blog)
What experiences have you had in life similar to this story? What opportunities are lying all around you just waiting to be seized?
“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re GOING to do.” – Henry Ford
I covered the Asia Pacific region in a previous assignment for 3.5 years. It was very interesting to talk to people and to see what their perceptions of us “Americans” is. There is a wide-held perception that we each live in a mansion (okay, I do compared to a 1,000 square foot apartment shared with a dozen extended family) and live on Easy Street. As I would get to know people better and they would tell me of their life story – it is true, I have access to untold privilege.
I have an education. I have five wonderful talented, and healthy children. I’m married to a great friend and despite life’s bumps and bruises, we are together after 15 years and love each other.
If I am not grateful for these things and looking for ways to better those around me, I am not living up to my privilege.
Today is Monday, what’s your plan?
“Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.” – Grace Hansen
Learn: Take time to account for the privileges you are surrounded by. Often the key to more success and happiness is right under your nose. Talk to others to gain better perspective of what you do not see.
Act: Sitting around will get you nowhere. Make a plan and take action on something you want to do better.
Share: Share your talent this week with someone. Write it down today and place a deadline for completion.
- Having food to eat makes a person more fortunate than 854 million people worldwide.
- Just having access to safe drinking water makes a person more fortunate than the over-1 billion people who can’t get safe drinking water.
- Having access to a bathroom means a person is very fortunate – more fortunate than 2.5 billion people in Asia Pacific and Africa who lack sanitation facilities
- Having electricity makes a person more fortunate than 1.6 billion people who do not have access to electricity.
- Having access to television makes a person fortunate because billions of people do not have television. Despite its economic boom, India has only 112 million TV households while the population is well over 1 billion.
- A person not locked up in prison is more fortunate than 2.2 million Americans who’re in prison – that’s like the whole city of Paris. 9 million people worldwide are in prisons.