It is a lesson I have been taught since I was a child. You learn, as you grow, to appreciate what you have. Whether is a lot or not, one learns what it means to have something the very moment you earn it. Although sometimes, one does not learn it until it is lost.
When I was a child I had most things than a child my age would have had. When it came to toys I had toys, when it came to clothes I had clothes, but all around me, unbeknownst to me, there was poverty. Growing up in Ecuador, the world outside my window was very much different from what I thought it was.
There was poverty, yes, as there is in any part of the world. The underprivileged roamed the streets and begged for help. Most of the times, I felt sad. This is because of how I grew up.
Mother always taught me to appreciate what God has provided and given you in life. Her faith was what drove most of her strength and character, and it was made sure to me that I follow in her footsteps. I did not have much.
I had what I had. Then times changed and I had more.
The big move to the States is what drove this change. More opportunity, more lessons to learn; a big one being the ability to make your own pocket change.
And so I worked. I learned to value work. I learned what it meant to earn something.
So I worked hard and I earned something that I could call mine.
It took time, but it drove me to where I am now.
Slowly through time, one can fall, and when that happens, it is indication that we need to learn how to get up. No matter the cost; no matter the struggle.
But temptation is just around the corner; it is easy to spend money on things you do not need. I do it all the time, I won't lie.
Today I bought a new shirt. Did I need it? No. Did I want it? Yes. There will always be the battle between "Need vs. Want" and this battle can show you which side you lean towards the most.
It is easy to think that because you work hard and you earn something that you have the power and right to spend it on which ever thing you prefer to spend it on. It is important not to lose track of this, however. There has to be a balance.
My brothers always tease me that I am a hoarder; sometimes, they are right.
What I like to do, however, is restore this balance. Put things in order. So sure, I bought a shirt I did not need, but wanted. What I also did, afterwards, however, was I cleaned my closet out. I picked out clothes I know I won't use, or no longer fit me. And I made this bag you see above.
There has to be a balance, and I am the kind of person that likes balance in life.
Buy a shirt, donate three more.
Mother always told me to value what I had. Mother always taught me to give to those who need it.
And this will never change, because I enjoy balance.