We’ve been talking about life in Australia, or any other western country around the world, trying to explain to our children how lucky we are. One of the main aspects is Freedom Of Choice. A generation ago, people in Europe did not have the basic freedom of walking around the streets of their own city safely, practicing their religion and doing whatever they like to within the limits of the law, which applied to all people equally. Many were discriminated, chased up and murdered only because they were Jewish, black or part of a minority. Throughout history people were disadvantaged because of the color of their skin, their heritage, their religion or their nationality. These dark days are still a reality in some parts of the world to date. And so, it is very hard to explain to the young generation how lucky they are to be born into a society where equality and diversity are key foundations of who we are and what we believe in. Sometimes it is unthinkable how life looked like back then.
While our situation is far better than it was for our parents and grandparents, who had to live through world wars and depression, we need to remind ourselves how lucky we are today and be thankful for that. We must not take it for granted, and bare the moral and social obligation to ensure it stays this way.
Unfortunately, many of us get dragged by the capitalism of today’s western society, often unhappy with what we’ve got and forever chasing life to gain more and more. While capitalism focuses on the financial side of things, the flip side of the coin is how well we cope mentally with our own reality, with the choices we have made, and our state of mind. Why do we lack any appreciation of what we got, and carry on with our lives feeling unhappy and unfortunate?
We adults tend to forget, that nearly everything we are doing or have done so far is a choice. There are few exceptions of course, as each one of us may recall situations where we had to follow our brain rather than our heart for financial or family reasons. The main point is, that at some point in our adult life we get to the stage where everything we do is a choice. We choose to go and study whatever we think we like at the time in university or other academic institution, we start a job or move between jobs when we think it’s a good career progression, we like the environment and the people around us and the rewards we get seem alright or let alone substantial. We live with a partner we fell in love with and choose to build a family and a home together. Everything is a choice WE have made.
So, if you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and don’t like the life you have built for yourself, you still have a choice to make a change, responsibly. There is no intension here saying you should leave everything and go find yourself. What I’m saying is, you have the opportunity to make it better, it’s in your hands mate.
I’ve heard this phrase at my current workplace a while back, and it stuck with me: “Life is what you make of it”. When I look around I see so many people who are unhappy, dragging themselves through another day, face down. And so, I remind myself every morning when I wake up, that if I don’t like my job and workplace, it is up to me and I can choose to leave or make a change, either find another job, another employer, or make a career change. And in the evening when I get back home, if there is anything I don’t feel grateful for when I see my wife and kids, my home, then I should look deep inside and see what I would like to improve. Potentially what you need to work on is your gratitude and relationships with your loved ones. There is always room for improvement.
Life is good. Full of opportunities. How lucky are we to have opportunities at all. To have several options to choose from. Some people do not have this privilege. We are in a much better position than most of the population in the world who do not have the option to choose or change or improve. They may not have running water at all at their humble home. If they have a roof above their head at all.
If you are reading these lines you are most likely in the 20 percent of the world’s population who should feel grateful. Look in the mirror again, give yourself a smile. Chin up. Love yourself. Chat about what you would have liked to do, where you would have liked to be. Then MAKE IT.
Baby, life’s what you make it
Can’t escape it
Nothing can change it
Life’s what you make it