As we sit here in quarantine, my heart goes out to those most negatively effected whether it be the sick, the suddenly unemployed, the lonely, the families of the deceased, the scared, or the care givers. There are so many. In a world we’ve never experienced now with pandemic and life coming to a halt, it’s easy to focus on the negative and feel bad for ourselves that our paychecks are stopped or delayed, that we can’t see our friends and family, that we can’t do the things we enjoy, that we live in fear or full of anxiety. It’s easy to feel bad for ourselves and throw a little pity party for ourselves in our heads. And that’s ok to do, as long as you do it, you stop, and you move on. Sometimes, it can take some perspective to help that along. For example, years ago, a friend’s daughter passed away from brain cancer just after her 6th birthday. To me, that is the worst case scenario. So any time I even start to feel sorry for myself about anything, I think about her, I give myself a kick in the rear, and I remind myself that I have 6 healthy, happy kids and THAT is all that really matters.

Today, I would like to help give you perspective by telling you about my little buddy, Moustapha. Moustapha is a little boy whom I sponsor through a charity called Child Fund. He turned 3 about a week ago. He lives in the small coastal African country of Senegal. He lives in a family compound with his parents, his four older siblings, his grandparents, and other close relatives. His home is made of wood and mud. They don’t have running water and depend on a nearby public well. They don’t have electricity, they use a lantern for light. They cook on fire, often using only one pot for each meal and eating as a family out of that single pot using their hands instead of utensils. Moustapha’s dad is a well digger and his mom is a housewife.

You may be in quarantine and you may be having a difficult time having the kids around all the time, missing your elderly parents, scared to shop or be in public, but focus on the things you do have. You have access to running water right in your home to wash your hands when you get home and before eating. You have your own dinner plate and utensils to avoid sharing germs. If you do get sick to your stomach, you have an indoor bathroom right in your home. You have the peace of mind knowing that if you do get sick, your parents and grandparents are safe away from you. You have the peace of mind knowing that if you do get sick, there is always a hospital and doctors and ventilators and medications available to you right in your village and you don’t need to rely on the health hut manned with a trained person from the village, not a doctor, who is there to help with things like delivering babies and proper nutrition. You are lucky. It was pure luck that you were born in America and not Senegal. Be thankful, be grateful, appreciate it.

*pic- Moustapha’s home country Senegal

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