10 Things We Don’t Appreciate Until Life Slaps Us in the Face
We often take the luxuries and comforts of our life for granted, forgetting that many of our fellow human beings are living a life where even the basic necessities are hard to come by. Simple things in life that we ignore and are never thankful for, like clean drinking water and a cozy home, are luxuries in other parts of the world.
1. A loving family
We might have felt irritated or even unloved as a kid when our parents tried to discipline us or teach us good manners. But we should be thankful to them for all of their love and untiring efforts in trying to raise us as responsible citizens.
2. A comfy home
In today’s fast-paced world, we sometimes forget the importance of having a roof above our heads and the comfort of dozing off in a warm cozy bed.
But this is not something we should take for granted. According to a Yale University study, more than 150 million people are forced to spend the night without a home, and 1.6 billion people worldwide lack adequate housing. Estimates suggest that the problem of homelessness is only going to get worse in the future.
3. Clean drinking water and electricity
For a lot of us, getting drinkable water might be as simple as turning on the faucet. And because of this, we don’t care much about how much water we waste.
The same goes for electricity and the Internet. They have become such an essential part of our lives, it’s hard to imagine that they didn’t even exist at one point in time.
Around 1 out of every 4 people don’t have access to clean water. By 2020, around 74% of the world’s population had access to safe water. Simple acts, like using water wisely, can go a long way in bettering their lives.
4. Hot running water
A large part of the human population lives without access to safe water. For these folks, getting enough safe water is a struggle, let alone getting the chance to shower in clean, warm water.
Around 60% of people in the world live in areas where the demand for water currently exceeds the amount of water that can be supplied.
5. Clean air
No one should be denied clean air to breathe. But our race for prosperity is steadily making the air unfit for breathing. Some countries that have stricter laws have been able to control air pollution, while people in countries with more relaxed laws are forced to wear masks outside and use air purifiers at home.
According to the WHO, 92% of the world population lives in areas with unhealthy air quality, and it’s responsible for 1 out of every 8 deaths worldwide. So if you’re lucky enough to be among the 8% with access to clean air, you should be thankful for it and strive very hard to keep it that way.
6. A good education
While education is the most important way people around the world can empower themselves, it’s not easily accessible to everyone, even more so if you are a girl. As UNICEF points out, education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for women.
More than 72 million children who are primary education-aged are not in school, and over 750 million adults are illiterate worldwide, according to Humanium, an international child sponsorship, NGO.
7. The company of friends
We all have close friends, or so we think. But nothing could be farther from the truth.
However unbelievable it might sound, a study found that one in every 10 people in the UK don’t have even a single close friend. This study also found that 19% of people never or rarely felt loved, in the 2 weeks before the survey. This situation is even more dire in Japan, where 35.4% of men claimed that they did not have a close friend.
8. The ability to celebrate
We love celebrating. However, we often look for big events to celebrate, and while we are waiting, we overlook the many smaller opportunities to celebrate. But whether you celebrate smaller events or big ones, you should still be thankful that you can do so. Not many people in the world have the freedom to celebrate.
According to data, today, more than 45 million people are trapped in some form of slavery, and many more are vulnerable and at risk of falling into it.
9. Clothes and shoes
Walking on the beach without footwear might seem refreshing or even romantic while you are on vacation, but imagine having to do it every day and in scorching temperatures, or on gravel and rocks. That certainly doesn’t sound interesting.
Access to good clothes and footwear might not seem like a hassle for many among us, but for the larger part of the population that has to work hard for even the basic necessities in life, buying new clothes might seem like a dream.
10. A healthy life and medical care
If you and your family members have a relatively healthy life or have access to affordable and good medical care, you should consider yourself lucky and be grateful for it.
According to a World Bank and WHO joint report, at least half of the world’s population cannot obtain essential health services. And for the lucky ones who can afford some form of health care, the costs are so high that it pushes almost 100 million people into extreme poverty (having to survive for under $1.90 a day).
What are the other things in life that we should be grateful for, but often miss even acknowledging?