Today I learnt a lesson from a man, who had nothing to give. I am not a materialistic person. I do not care what car you drive, how big your apartment is or how many ice cube trays your fridge can hold. It virtually means nothing to me, of course if you invite me to your home and show me your shiny pink car, a shoebox of an apartment and a billion of different shaped ice cubes, I will compliment you on it, but not because it is important to me, but because it is important to you. This does not make me a bad person, nor does it make you a bad person if you do care for these things, it just shows that people value things differently.
I recently (last night, when I couldn’t sleep) made a list of goals I want to achieve, things I want to see, languages I want to learn, experiences I want to have and technologies I want to test out. Some of these goals require great strength and a lot of discipline, others require me to be persistent, stubborn and devoted. And some of the goals require me to have faith in human society. I mean, obviously I am betting on the wrong horse believing that by tomorrow climate change will be resolved and people will free all the whales from all the themeparks in the world, but one might dream.
As I re-visited my strong-minded and -willed goal-list this morning, I realized that none of my goals included a big house, a nice car, a fancy dressing room, which is funny because in a way, it is implied, we all like that, right? I mean who wouldn’t want a cupboard full of Nutella, a walk-in closet for shoes and about 50.000 different types and colors of fluffy guest towels? I think the majority would say yes to that, and I know I would, but when it comes down to it, the only thing I really long for at the end of the day is a small place that I can call home. Which I am lucky to have with A by my side, every single night, even when it is cold and dark outside, which it is 79% out of the year in Norway, I like my life.
Sometimes people do not get that chance that I so luckily got put into my lap, even if it was a struggle to finally get here. Sometimes their home is ripped apart because of mayor catastrophes like earthquakes, a vulcano erupting, nasty split from a loved one or because they miscalculated their finances. We sometimes don’t get to pick our battles, sometimes they get picked for us. And I understand that living from hand to mouth is heartbreaking, but see, just because your bank account is not going nuts with black numbers, doesn’t mean that you are worth less than anyone else.
I say this because I realized today, that people more and more define their own personal value by their bank account and although I can understand that in the materialistic world we live in, but I feel like it is utterly wrong. Let me remind you that it doesn’t take a rich man to understand the value of a good home. It doesn’t take a shiny red car, the newest model with what ever fancy pants features there are (you can tell by my jargon, I am really into vehicles), to have a pleasant conversation. And, although appreciating the most expensive bottle of wine is a gift, being able to appreciate the time we have with loved ones, even if these times can be tough, that alone shows true appreciation.
Let me remind you, that you too are worth the world, even if you don’t hear it every day. I am here, to tell you this, because sometimes we need to hear it. I know, life can be dark and lonely and cold (no pun intended on Norway’s weather), but you are not alone. It is so easy to forget, that people are here with you and they appreciate you for who you are.
I, for one, enjoyed myself today, because I felt loved and because I was able to show someone else my love. Because I showed a perfectly nice stranger the respect and admiration he deserved, even if he smelled a bit iffy and didn’t have a home and also didn’t have time to brush his teeth this morning. I tell you this, because sometimes people don’t deserve what they get, they just were at the wrong time at the wrong place.
To conclude my late-Friday-night-blogpost (yes, I am a party-animal, much like my night active hamster, who is spinning in his wheel like crazy right about now): I was told a story today, one that broke my heart. It was full of spite and racism and hate and pain. I am going to spare you the details and although his story was a tragic one, he still found it in himself to sit down with me and talk to me and I listened. Today I learnt a lesson from a man, that had nothing to give. The lesson was simple, one you all heard many times before, but today it felt like I heard it for the first time.
We all are worth the world to someone. Although the man knew people look at him oddly, and he could have achieved so much more in his life, he was happier than most of the people looking at him, he was content. Although people would judge him by his shabby clothes and rather unwelcoming smell, he knows that he did his best in his life. And at the end of the day, and the beginning of the night, that is all we can hope for. So I say, take your bank account, your shiny car, your seven pairs of Manolo Blahniks (and yes, I know nothing about cars but yet can spell that), your rotten most favorite blanket and your torn-in-pieces but favorite T-shirt and be happy. Because you mean the world to someone, someone will value you for what you are truly worth but first, you need to value yourself as a great person, because you are simply that. Amazing.
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