My guest blogger today is Chris Butsch, who just wrote a book on happiness, “The Millennial’s Guide to Making Happiness,” now on Kickstarter. Order today and get your signed copy by Christmas.
For those of you struggling to find happiness in today’s election results, I wanted to offer the five things I thought about during Gratitude Meditation this morning. Perhaps they’ll help you remember how truly awesome it is to be among the 4% of the world living in America.
1) We have clean drinking water.
When I’m thirsty at home, I fill a glass from the fridge. Worst case; I’m on my bike and have to use the fountain at the park that randomly shoots like a fire hose into my face. Finding water never interrupts my daily routine. For over a billion people, it does.
2) We have the freedom to explore other countries.
I’ve visited over a dozen countries without a second thought. My friends Deng and Tar, Millennials from Vietnam and China respectively, either can’t afford to leave due to their country’s weak currency, or their governments won’t let them. As Americans, we have the freedom to explore the rest of the planet.
3) We have health care.
While it may not be affordable for many, at least it’s there. Millions of people around the world don’t have access to basic pain relief, whereas I can Google my symptoms and get Airborne from a Rite-Aid just down the street in minutes.
4) We have safe roads.
Sure, we may have flipped the bird to a jerk in a Silverado once, but those occasions are rare. In general, we commute from A to B OK everyday on roads, and in cars, designed to maximize our safety. That’s simply not the case in most countries, like in Libya, where road fatalities are 7.3 times as frequent as they are here.
5) We can be with our loved ones whenever we want.
If you’ve never heard the excuse “I can’t afford to see my family for another year,” go to China, where 163 million migrant workers work 70+ hour weeks in the city just so their child can be raised by their grandparents in the countryside. If they’re lucky, they’ll see their family once a year. Meanwhile, even for the American working class, our infrastructure allows for easy nationwide travel, so loved ones are never out of reach.
Before wrapping up, try picturing your life without ANY of those five things, and slowly grant them back to yourselves, and always remember, America is a fertile breeding ground for happiness.