September 14, 2009

The Essentials of Life

Food, water, shelter, clothing... these are the essentials of life. In Hanover, the first category often includes Pavilion cookies and the last category a black North Face... There are relative definitions, but as I said. The essentials of life.

And we take them for granted sometimes. We all do. All of us privileged kids who are receiving a Dartmouth education, at least, and all of us living above the poverty line here in this beautiful country. Yes, some of us work for a living, myself included, but at the end of the day I would guess that not many students on Dartmouth campus are seriously concerned about starving to death.

And that's how it should be. We're in college. We're supposed to be learning how to save the world, how to be the future, how to raise this earth and country and fine educational institution up to greatness. We're not supposed to be worrying about being underfed or malnourished.

But there are people- many, many people- in this world and this country and this state and within a few miles of here who do worry about such things as food and water and shelter and clothing. What if there's no next meal? What if there's nowhere to sleep tonight? What if there's no clean water to drink?

I know that when we were younger our parents admonished us to eat our leftover brussels  sprouts because there were children starving in China. And we probably rolled our eyes, threw the brussels sprouts in the garbage, and forgot about those children in China. After all, it's just something parents say... right?

But it's not. There are people starving...

And as I begin my new and independent life I'm thinking more and more about just how easy it would be to starve and how difficult it would be to survive were I not provided with certain advantages. And so tonight I leave you with a challenge: Ponder your good fortune. Think about just how lucky you are.

Count your blessings.

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