During my day's meditation (sitting on the toilet, holding one cat firmly in my lap, raking a fine-tooth comb through said cat's glossy fir, depositing squirming flea in sink full of soapy water by my side) - my thoughts drifted away from the life-cycle of the flea and towards more sobering news I had heard on the radio this morning. Apparently there was a stampede in a crowd of women and children in Karachi, Pakistan, who had gathered to receive a donation of free flour, and nearly twenty of those women and children were killed. This news would normally leave me with the weight of knowing there are people all over the world who must wait in line for food, for whom free flour is worth competing for with hundreds of others. This morning I had just opened a "cheap" bag of flour that I intended to use not for baking bread to feed my family, but to turn into a play-toy for my creative children, and the guilty pang of our privilege ran through me and then stayed in the corner for the morning.
We often wonder what choices we could have made earlier in our lives to put ourselves and our family in a better financial state, but the truth is we have rarely wanted for anything - when in need, help has come, and has usually been from the hands of another blessed family member, not in the midst of a throng of the desperate hungry. And so my message for myself today...we are blessed, we are blessed, we are blessed - just a small reminder that we have so much and want for so little.