Is my life really that bad?

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Have you ever had the feeling that life is really bad? Did you feel that you hated your life? Did you ever wish you would die because you couldn’t take it anymore? Do you find that everything in your life is difficult, your work isn’t going well, your relationships fail, problems surround you and everything seems to go wrong?

At times, I used to feel that way until I had a conversation with one of my friends that made me totally change my views about my life. He told me about an incident that he witnessed in India.

He told me that he was touring India a few years back.  At the time, he was feeling very low after a major setback in his career. He said that right in front of his very eyes, he saw an Indian mother chopping off her child’s right hand with an axe.  He said that the helplessness in the mother’s eyes and the scream of the pain from the innocent four-year-old child haunted him until this day. My first response was to ask why the mother do so.  Was the child’s hand infected? Was he bitten by a poisonous snake??

‘No’, my friend said, ‘It was done for two simple words — to beg. The desperate mother deliberately caused the child to be handicapped so that the child can go out to the streets and beg.’ This incident shocked my friend and he could not understand how this could happen, but it opened his eyes to a world he hadn’t seen before.

Taken aback by the horrific scene, my friend dropped a small piece of bread he was eating.  Almost instantly, he said, a flock of five or six children swarmed towards this fallen piece of bread which was by then covered with dirt. The kids were robbing off pieces of bread from one another. That was the natural reaction because of their hunger. Stricken by the events that had occurred, my friend asked his guide to drive him to the nearest bakery.  He bought every single loaf of bread he found there. Of course, the bakery-owner was dumb-founded but happily received the $100 for the 400 loaves which he had.

My friend then went off to distribute the bread to the street children (who were mostly handicapped) and a few adults.  He received cheers and bows from these very poor people.

At that point of my friend’s story, I realized how fortunate I was to have all of my limbs, to be clothed, to be employed, to have a family, to have plenty of food to pick and choose from, and so much more that these kids are deprived of.

Now I have to stop and think. Was my life really that bad?

What about you? The next time you are down and feel your life is bad, think about the child who lost his hand in order to beg on the streets.

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