- As I enjoy the rain from my penthouse apartment with its round-the-clock security guards and swimming pool, I look out the window to the street below me to see a family huddled under a blue tarp they call home. They don’t have to make the beds. They sleep on blankets on the hard ground.
- As I leave the grocery store with stuff that I don’t actually need, I am joined on the sidewalk by a child trying to sell me a coloring book or a bunch of pens. Her mom doesn’t have to do homework with her. In all likelihood, neither of them knows how to read.
I could go on and on. But you don’t have to move halfway across the world to see that your life, like mine, is filled with “get to” moments. The very fact that we have beds to make, laundry to tackle, lunches to pack, and dinners to serve is a privilege that millions don’t have. Our normal is someone else’s dream. The fact that we are doing most of this for people we love is the biggest “get to” of all.
Instead of looking at our lists as chores, we need to see them as opportunities. So I teach my kids that we are blessed by trying to provide small blessings to others. It may mean carrying bags of packaged cookies in the car to share with the kids who knock at our car window. It may mean tutoring an underprivileged child. It may mean keeping our used toys in the trunk to give to the next child sitting on a pile of sand. It’s a drop in the bucket.
But, slowly, all the drops add up, and while the bucket fills, my perspective changes from being a parent obsessed with just how crazy-hard my life is to one who acknowledges my abundance.
We need to change the game by changing our vocabulary. Let’s start every day realizing that our “have to’s” are really “get to’s.”
**This article originally appeared on Parent.co.