Two weeks ago, a friend shared with me that he is going blind. It's a genetic issue. His father and uncle have a similar affliction. His retinae are dying from the inside out. At this point he has no peripheral vision and has trouble playing basketball. He'll gradually get tunnel vision, and by the time he is in his 50's he will no longer be able to see.
He's in his early 30s and he is good looking. He's carefree. A long haired hippie. Now he's married and careworn. There's anger and frustration in his voice. He is working really hard to remember all the things that are going well for him.
Today, I spoke to another friend that found out that his kidneys are no longer working. Well, they are at 8% capacity. He will need to go on dialysis, and get on a list for a kidney transplant.
I know the sayings about gratitude. It just feels fake to pray and say that I'm glad I have the basic necessities, and to then start my litany of why my life would be better if only I had this other set of things.
Until things like this happen.
I cannot imagine a weekly schedule that involves going to the hospital three times a week. I know I would not remember to hook myself up to a machine every night so that water could get pumped into my stomach and then pumped out.
I want to buy bigger and better television sets. I drool over blue ray, and HD. I salivate about the ipad2.
On the radio I hear about Sendai, Libya and the aftermath of Egypt. A country should not have to endure two nuclear disasters within one human lifespan.
Of course, I do not give thanks that there hasn't been a nuclear disaster where I live. I haven't felt gratitude that I now live in a place where I do not have to fear imminent civil war and violence.
Perhaps its time to start.