The complaining was driving me crazy.
Can I have…
Why don’t we ever…
We’re never allowed…
It’s just a little…
Can we get…
I finally turned on Netflix hoping to find the most brilliant way to teach my children the art of gratitude. And that’s how I stumbled upon, “Living On One Dollar” – an award-winning film that follows the journey of four friends as they set out to live on just $1 a day in rural Guatemala.
For an hour and a half my family and I watched as this young film crew battled hunger, parasites, and extreme financial stress as they attempted to survive life on the edge. This kind of life is unimaginable for most North Americans, but this is the extreme reality for 1.1 billion people around the world.
… Little boys who don’t have the opportunity to go to school because their dad’s need strong, capable bodies to help them with physical labour for 14 hours a day.
… Moms who don’t have the opportunity for a day off because their families need to be fed, which usually involves making some bare minimum meal of mush from scratch – which is an all-day affair.
… And dads? These men work so tirelessly they give themselves blisters, and back aches, and many other health problems because they work brutally difficult conditions for little to no return.
As this young film crew became friends with men, women and children all struggling to survive, our eyes got bigger and our hearts grew wider in understanding that we are the rich ones. We. Us. Me. You. My family. Your family. We are filthy, stinkin’ rich!
I was a bawling mess.
Here’s what my family observed.
Lego was not mentioned.
Copious amounts of Peanut butter was not available.
A bedroom? A bed? A toy room? Not so much.
As my family watched the TV, I watched each of their faces hoping and praying the reality of this world would sink into their hearts all the while rewriting their life perspective and altering the way in which they live. But then, like only Karma can do, that’s when my tiny little teaching moment backfired on my own heart in a huge way.
Because here’s what I observed.
There was no Starbucks on every street corner.
No running water.
No laundry machine.
No grocery store.
I was suddenly confronted with my own lack of gratitude… my own lack of awareness… my own propensity for complaining. I instantly became enlightened to the truth that I am rich. Not Oprah, or Bill Gates, or Bono, or Beyoncé, or anyone else I like to deflect to, but me!
Thought I was bawling before? Seriously, I was full-on doing the ugly cry. My kids were like, mom’s losin’ it. My husband was like, woman, simmer down.
Truth is, we will never be able to see the needs of the world if we continue living life as if we’re the ones in need. We aren’t. We’re not. We have it all. We have everything we could ever possibly need AND want. We are the ones living lives other people could only dream about. And until we confront this truth… until we hold a mirror up to our own hearts… until something clicks and each of us becomes enlightened to this realization in a deeply personal and meaningful way, discontentment will continue to be our go-to mentality as we chase the rat race, keep up with Joneses, and climb the materialistic ladder.
We take the richness of everyday life for granted – water, education, shelter, opportunity, health care, freedom, rights – by choosing to overlook them rather than celebrate them.
Don’t you think it’s time we put the important things in the spotlight?
Everything changes when you realize you hold the power to change someone else’s future just by being exactly who you are, using exactly what you’ve got; right here, right now.
I am rich.
And so are you.
Pour yourself into someone else.
Give back to this world that is so desperately in need.
Make someone else’s life richer because you choose to see people as more important than obtaining possessions and seeking personal gain.
The ‘I Am Rich’ Campaign
It’s with this very confronting truth that Red Carpet Life decided to launch its very first pictogram campaign – aptly called, I Am Rich.
To kick things off, we’ve asked a team of people to submit their own I Am Rich moments with a photo and brief description of what makes their life uniquely rich. Our hope is that we can inspire people to think past comparison and be present in THEIR own version of a rich life.
The best way for you to get involved in the campaign is to:
- Start with a quick look into your own life for some true richness that you may take for granted. Reflect with gratitude. Then tell someone.
- Support the campaign by sharing this article with someone you think could benefit (handy buttons below).
- Like the Red Carpet Life Facebook Page or @myredcarpetlife on Instagram to get the photos as they roll out.
- Share your own moments on social media and add the hashtags #IAmRich and #RedCarpetLife
If you’d like to submit your own photo & description of what makes your life rich for consideration in the official campaign, please email Cindy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the entire campaign & all contributions so far on the I Am Rich campaign page here.