Hold your horses! Before you go on any further, I need you to critically think about it and choose your next words carefully. If everyone was equal who would clean your offices? Who would serve you that lovely food at that expensive restaurant? Who would be selling water in traffic under the blazing sun just so you can parch your thirst? Who would battle mosquitos just so you can buy airtime late at night? Who would go unwashed the whole day just so you can arrive early to work or home?
I grew up from humble beginnings, sharing a room with my sibling and parents. I remember being jealous and sometimes resentful of my cousins and their better clothes and so many toys. It was no different when I went to boarding school. All the rich kids and their provisions and good shoes and what not. I would sit in my corner green with envy.
Sometime in the recent past I told myself one thing; it doesn’t matter. I am who I am and I have my peculiar gifts. I’ve lost a lot of interest in the things I could not have; always on top of the range with the newest tech, the best clothes, going to the nicest places and generally, having the choicest part of life it might seem.
It is all impossible to compete with those born with a silver spoon in their mouths at the game of having things. You’ll either try to fit in (and they would laugh at you for trying and you still won’t fit in) or just be your own man. Appreciating what you have and being kind are more important than setting out to having the best of everything. You need to look no further than David slaying Goliath or Leicester City winning the 2015-16 English Premier League to realize that appreciating who you are is necessary for miracles to happen.
It is necessary to have smaller people doing the work you would be ashamed of doing because they are right where they need to be at that particular moment in time. If you were in their shoes in the fight for survival would you do what they are doing?
Contentment requires great sacrifice. It requires you to cast away dreams of acquiring material wealth and being more than yourself. In return, it lays the secret of the universe at your feet; love. I wouldn’t say I’m perfect but then the path to perfection is progress. If it was that easy everyone would do it.
In 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 (NIV) the bible says, “26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not to nullify the things that are,”
Learning to love yourself and respecting those who are not in the same position you are the key to equality in eternity. We were all born and we will all die. We are human and do everything human beings do. We are people; inherently selfish and crooked. Letting go of that inborn desire to assert ourselves is the first step to achieving inner peace. This is only possible in a world of inequality. The ‘natural’ order is only temporary because all we want is to be relevant despite our many flaws and wishes. God either gives you weapons to defend yourself with or quick feet to run away when attacked. Lions have to eat and buffalo and gazelles have to raise their young. Everything is part of the circle of life.
It is only unfortunate people equate being selfish to loving themselves. I believe if you are able to understand yourself with your strengths and weaknesses, you would understand the next person and how people are. You would pity unkind people because in treating others badly they fail to realize they do not treat themselves well.
The next time you see one of those kids begging you for spare change, give if you have. If you don’t have don’t be violent. Nothing good ever came out of taking anything by force.
Envy is a strong motivator. How you use it is up to you. I am unconcerned about what the next person has that I do not have because I am where I am supposed to be at this very moment in time.
© Sena Frost 2k16