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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.

This Bright Side article would like to draw your attention to those people who might not be as fortunate as you in a few areas of their life.

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.

Before you think that having a loving family is a right, remember that more than 150 million children worldwide are orphans who didn’t get the love and care, as a child, that we received.

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 opening the faucet. And because of this, we don’t care much about how much water we just 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 in the past, they did not even exist.

One out of every 3 people don’t have access to clean water. And it is estimated that by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. The story about electricity is no better, with one out of every 6 people living without electricity. Our simple acts like using water wisely and switching off the lights when we are not using them 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 showering in clean, warm water.

More than 800 million of our fellow human beings have to travel and stand in line for at least 30 minutes to access safe supplies, despite the huge amount of effort being put into making safe water accessible to all.

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 is responsible for one out of every 8 deaths worldwide. So, if you are 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 have to empower themselves, it is not easily accessible to everyone, and 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 events, you should still be thankful that you can celebrate. Not many people in the world have the freedom to celebrate.

According to data released by the Global Slavery Index, 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. According to the foundation’s founder, the number of people trapped in slavery is increasing every year.

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.

According to World Bank data, about 750 million people live under extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.90 a day.

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?

Illustrated by Anastasiya Pavlova for Bright Side
Bright Side/Curiosities/10 Things We Don’t Appreciate Until Life Slaps Us in the Face
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