By Chalaine Scott
A little brown-haired boy giggles as I tap him on the head. “Goose!” I surprise him as I make a run for it. The little boy with the brown hair and dark eyes bursts into laughter as he gets up from the ground as fast as he can, chasing me around our little makeshift circle. I make it back to my spot just in time, sending him off on his own “duck, duck” venture.
Today, I taught a little orphan boy how to play “Duck, Duck, Goose.” I washed dirtied little toes and wiped food from pure little faces. I learned a secret handshake and colored a cartoon character and showed an 8-year-old how to spell her name. I watched 12 orphans run into their new home and pick a bed to call their own. I wept over a village and prayed over hearts and cried in confusion as I looked through the window of a bus, over passing roads and tiny towns that I knew nothing about, but that were somehow teaching me everything I’d never known about myself.
I am spoiled, selfish and unsatisfied.
And so are you.
Look around, and it’s not hard to wish for different. Mirrors tell us we’re not enough, magazines show us we’re inadequate, Hollywood mocks our lifestyle. We’re always wanting different. Smaller waists, bigger homes, prettier hair, nicer cars. We’re always wanting more. More attention, more money, more clothes and shoes and friends.
Travel to India, and you know what my little brown haired orphan would ask for? A tooth brush. A pack of stickers. A clean cup of water.
Travel to India, and you’ll see you’ve got all you need. All you could ever want. Open your eyes, and you’ll realize how amazing your life truly is.
I think the problem with our society today is that we’re never content. We want things faster. Better. Cooler. Bigger. And we honestly believe we deserve them. Like the lives we’ve been given aren’t enough, like the freedoms and the opportunities came at no cost and are worth no price. Like we don’t have to work for them. We’ve stopped feeling content because we’ve become so entitled. Constantly striving for more has made us so much less.
We want things that belong to others instead of loving what’s ours. We’ve become a people who’d rather protest than protect, ridicule instead of respect and ignore instead of invest in. We accuse others of creating our issues, make excuses for our behaviors and blame situations for our faults.
We don’t own up to our flaws or address our failings. Instead, we just wish for different. For a new day and a new person and a new job and a new “better.”
Travel to India, travel to anywhere besides your white picket fence, and you’ll realize nothing new will ever bring you true happiness. Look to a boy with dark brown hair and skinny arms and mismatched clothes. Hear him sing about Jesus. Hear a sweet little voice in a language you don’t understand praise the King of Kings. See the truest and most authentic version of contentment in a child who has nothing, but smiles like he has everything.
Scrub your teeth when you wake up in the morning. Take a shower in clean water, slip into your pants and look in the mirror. There’s a child who will never get to have this morning. There are millions who will never get to have this life.
Don’t take yours for granted.
Chalaine Scott lives by her pen. As a little girl, she jotted down song lyrics and danced around her living room singing them with her sister in preparation for the day they would become famous. A twenty-something girl addicted to grace, her brother’s humor, and her dog’s cuddles, she welcomes inspiration from wherever it comes and daringly pursues her dreams with whatever it takes. Currently working on her second novel, she considers herself an idealist who wakes up each morning with the sole intention to write what is worth reading. Follow her @Chaleezy.