20 March 2007

Soda & Water

When I was a second lieutenant at my first assignment, I didn't have much money. Not only was I just out of school and making a 2Lt salary, but I was also newly married and my wife was in college. So, like I said, not much money to go around, but some how, we made it.

I have a very vivid memory of feeling sorry for myself one day at lunch, because while I'd brought my lunch, I hadn't packed anything to drink... and I didn't have 50 cents to get a soda. Not that I didn't have it with me... I literally didn't have it. So, I walked over towards the water fountain with a mug, feeling poor and frustrated and scornful towards this water - blah - which was all I could afford that day.

Fortunately, even before I got to the water fountain I realized that countless people around the world don't even have clean water to drink. I chided myself for being so unthankful. Here I was, with convenient, unlimited, free access to clean water, grumbling that it wasn't soda. Ever since, I have really aimed to be thankful for what I have and to be mindful of the needs and suffering of others. Not that I've always accomplished either the thankfulness or mindfulness, but it's what I aim for.
(Ironically, these days I've mostly sworn off soda and go for water by choice... or coffee, particularly dark roast... mmmmm)

It all just goes to confirm something G.K. Chesterton once wrote: "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."
What we focus on makes such a difference, doesn't it?

1 comment:

Kim said...

I bet you can find a GK quote for any situation. :)