I think there is a fine line between not taking things for granted and being an anxious, paranoid freak. I try to live my life in a state of gratitude, but too often I find my way to this thankful feeling by way of “things could be worse.”
Sometimes, I imagine really terrible things happening (yes, out of nowhere, or I simply look to the headlines for easy inspiration) and suddenly I feel so incredibly lucky that that’s not me.
I saw one photo from Haiti. One. It is on the front of a Facebook page that someone created. It is of a crying man holding a baby. I have convinced myself that this baby is merely hurt or hungry, and that the man is traumatized and exhausted. I crumple at the thought of the alternative.
I did not go further onto the page or seek any other photos. I did not watch any footage. I can’t bring myself to do it. I am already sufficiently horrified.
I try to hold in equal proportion the thought that I am safe (sitting in my cozy, heated home while my husband rocks our beautiful son to sleep and I peacefully type my priviliged musings into cyberspace) and the thought that a sudden, devastating calamity of magnificent proportion could land on my pretty doorstep, well, anytime.
Consequently, I am extememly grateful for every moment when this is not the case. I can’t decide if this is humble and healthy, or obsessive and crazy.
All I know is that I ache when I hear about bad things happening to innocent people, especially children. And when I can remember how to, I open my heart and mind wide enough to accept a world where awful, heartbreaking, and incredibly unfair things happen to people every single day.
And then I feel such sadness; I can sense it running right alongside my deep gratitude.