I stand up and stretch my legs for a moment. I need to do it more often, because having a desk job like mine can easily result in poor circulation (causing a whole bunch of other health problems).
Somehow I feel like staring at the computer monitor for too long is beginning to make me thirsty. I know that sounds crazy, but I stand up from my desk to do something about it anyway.
I take the step and a half across my office towards the mini-fridge in front of the window. I bend down to open the door, and grab an ice-cold Diet Mountain Dew. Yeah it’s diet because I’m a little overweight. Okay, technically by medical standards I think I’m actually considered obese. But you probably wouldn’t guess it, because I’m really not that different in weight than most others my height.
So I grab the cold (diet) drink, open it up, and take a big, refreshing gulp as I look out the window and think about how hot it must be out there.
And I’m grateful.
Grateful that I don’t have to be outside sweating while I work. After all, I work up enough of a thirst sitting in my 72 degree office staring at the pixels transmitting though my monitor.
Then something in my mind flashes back.
I remember suffering through the August heat in Haiti last year. It’s the kind of heat that drains you even when you’re sitting still. And while staying at an orphanage that doesn’t have air conditioning means there’s no escape from the heat.
I remember how excited I was to be able to go home and finally cool off at the end of that trip.
I remember my new friends down there who didn’t get to leave when I did, and they continue to live in that kind of discomfort their whole lives.
And I think… is it really discomfort to them if they don’t know the kind of comfort that’s become my norm?
I then become more grateful for what I have. I almost don’t feel worthy of having the kind of comforts that I have… the comforts that most of us take for granted.
Two emotions swirl around within me.
One is a feeling of compassion for those not as ‘fortunate’ as me. I ask myself, what can I do today to relieve the suffering of others? I have so much to give, and feel moved to share with those who don’t have.
The other is a feeling of humility and gratefulness. I ask myself, what can I do to give thanks for the blessings that I have? I want to never feel prideful and expect that the comforts I have are simply a right.
I take another sip, look at the window, and remember that I’ve got to get that one email out about that one project…