I don’t have a lot. But I have enough. I grew up in a large family of Nine. Because there were so many of us, things had to be shared and money was usually tight.
My parents couldn’t buy all the accessories and stuff for all of us. But we had the basics. I had a bed, clothes, hot and cold shower, food, a home, and most importantly, I had a family. A family who loved me and supported me with everything I did. And I appreciated everything that I had. Even though my parents couldn’t give me everything, they gave me what I needed.
When I was little, I was just like any regular kid. I watched movies, played games, and loved spending time outside with my siblings and neighbours, went to a boarding school. Just like most kids, if my friend had something cool, I wanted it too. Little kids are selfish. If they see something they want, they will beg for it until they get it. I didn’t beg a whole lot because I knew my parents didn’t like it.
Once they said no, all the begging in the world couldn’t change their minds. So instead of begging, my birthday and Christmas lists would just be long and filled with all the stuff I thought was cool and what I needed. Except every birthday and Christmas, I would maybe get one of those cool things( which included over sized dress that I can wear for 3 more Christmas cos my parents weren’t sure of being able to another dress….Smiles) and all my other presents would be books, or something else that would be useful in life; but I didn’t realise it’s importance until much later on.
My relationships with friends also changed going into secondary school. In elementary school, I had some good friends. But my friends were always changing as we grew older. Going into the university, I really started making good, solid friendships with people and growing closer with others. This really made an impact on me and allowed me to appreciate the power of friendship in my life.
Whether I want it to or not, life goes on. People die, others are born. Some people have it better than others but everyone should have that one thing that they appreciate. Whether it is family, friends, an education, or a roof over your head, it’s important to appreciate the things you have and not worry about what you don’t have. I have really learned this lesson over the years and now that I have started to actually apply it to my life, I have found that I am more happy and more appreciative of things that I never thought I would be.
People all around the world are living in poverty. People are dying of hunger; they do not have homes, jobs, or sometimes even a family. But it always seems that people who seem to have nothing, have something that they appreciate. There is that one special thing that makes them happy.
I could go for hours listing the things that I appreciate the most. Things like family, friends, an education, and a house that I can come home to. Everybody appreciates these kind of things because we need them. But I could not appreciate any of these things without my parents. They are the people I appreciate the most despite their troubles at times.

Whitney Edna Ibe is the Executive Consultant, Life & Mental Health Coach, and Writer/ Editor at Whitney Edna Ibe Consult (Blog),, The Social Talks,, and Mental Wellness Society International. She is in charge of consultations, services, and implementation.

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