What Are You Lacking?
The Greatest Gifts Are Free and Available All The Time
by Eric Elkin
A young man shared a conversation with me from his work. His boss told him, “I feel like you younger kids never want to work and are always asking for days off.” The comments were not well received by the worker, who pointed out to his boss he had logged fourteen hours of overtime the past week. Those extra hours did not even include time spent working a second job.
He learned a difficult, but all too real, lesson. There are people in the world who will want you to know; you do, in fact, lack something. Even when there is clear evidence to the contrary, some will still want you to feel you are lacking.
I decided to Google,“People lack,” and see what results it produced. It turns out we lack a lot of things. According to my simple internet search, people lack…empathy, sympathy, common sense, good manners, sleep, assurance, confidence, integrity, class, motivation, melanin, and access to clean water.
What I lack in life depends upon my current mood. If conditions are excellent and the world feels right, I lack nothing. Matter of fact, my heart overflows with gratitude. When the conditions are not good, in my mind, no person on the planet suffers more than I do. My inner thoughts run wild and make me feel like I lack plenty.
Our view of the world is often shaped by how we measure ourselves to others. More often than not, we compare ourselves with people we perceive as better than us. Research shows when tested in cooperative situations; people feel better about themselves when others around them perform well. In competitive conditions, people thought they were lacking when interacting with high performers.
Life is not a competition, despite our every effort to make it that way. In the end, it is more a cooperative exercise between family, friends and even strangers. The same researchers concluded the most significant gifts to humans, the treasures which make life abundant, “Cannot be placed in a platform of comparison for others to appreciate.”
These greatest gifts include love, gratitude, humility, empathy, selflessness, and generosity. When you think about it, these treasures are freely available to any person at any time. They provide the perspectives which help us endure the greatest of calamities. Even when we are unable to see these gifts, we often receive them from a friend or a neighbor who can.
Perhaps Psalm 23 is such a favorite because it reminds us of the truth of life. Even in our darkest days and when the world attempts to convince us otherwise, we really do lack nothing.
- What comparison do people place on you that makes you feel lacking?
- When have you done the same to someone else?
- How can you help others discover gratitude?
- How convinced are you this day that you lack nothing?