https://www.duolingo.com/AndresGarner

Language Learning Gave Me A Refreshed Thankfulness For Life.

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This weekend, I was flipping through the TV channels, and a documentary in Spanish caught my eye, it was about some really poor families in Guatemala, I don't ever really watch documentaries on stuff like that but since it was in Spanish and about a Spanish country I decided to watch it, I am so glad I did because it just really opened my eyes and gave me a new sense of thankfulness.

The family that impacted me most lived through horrible situations, it was a mother and her four children, the dad had committed suicide, they were facing starvation, they lived in a very small one-room shack, all their clothes were torn, all the children wanted was a bed to sleep on instead of a dirt floor and to be able to have an education, and to get water they had to hike two hours without shoes, there were many other other hardships they were facing.

After watching it, it gave me a new thankfulness for everything, even the small stuff like running water, I know that people don't have running water everywhere, but I didn't know stuff like that existed where people had to walk 2 hours to go get water, when I lie down in my bed it's not a big deal to me I just go to sleep, but knowing that is one of the biggest things the children wanted just breaks my heart, and education, we have free education all over the place and even using Duolingo, and they were crying on the documentary because they couldn't afford education of any sort. The documentary has inspired me to appreciate the small things in life and grasp certain opportunities that I have been giving, even like language learning, the people on the documentary would have loved to learn another language, I know there are people in poverty all over the world, but living in the US we don't think about those things a lot. Sometimes we will complain if we have had the same food or meals for a few days while there are many in this world facing starvation, we complain if we have to buy not named brand clothes while others only have rags.

Thanks to learning Spanish it has given me a sense of gratitude for many things now, if I was not learning Spanish I could have not seen the documentary. And it has helped me to take studying Spanish more seriously. I encourage everyone to start thinking of small things to be thankful for, it has made my last few days happier focusing on the abilities and things I do have instead of the things I don't have.

March 11, 2019

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/3Dmonocle
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@AndresGarner

It's so good to see people like you in this world. Another human being with open eyes :-D Promise me to keep them open always..!

Instead of just feeling grateful for having (almost) everything ... Give some of what you have to others and be grateful to see that they are getting better lives :)

We need a more equal world. I have also met people living in poverty in Africa and elsewhere and I always try to help.

There are many versions of poverty. I live in Denmark. I have a warm house, a good bed, food and water. I get a pension every month and I have a nice new car. I am grateful for what I have - as long as I have it. But I have no rights. The municipality can take everything from me. They just sent me a letter saying they want to take my car. I still have to pay for it, but I can't use it. They took much of my pension too and they reduced my help to almost nothing (I'm disabled). I am now 100% dependent on family and friends. More than 10% of the disabled people in Denmark have no right to leave their homes. They (and I) have no rights at all. It only looks like we have everything on paper, but it is all fake.
I used to take courses in languages ​​and I used to teach refugees so they could learn Danish. Now I have to be of no use. .. "If your legs don't work then do not use your brain"..
That's how my country is now. It is economic growth for the few rich and beautiful ... yes, beautiful because plastic surgery and stupid stuff is what they spend money on. You could feed everyone in Guatemala with all the money the rest of the world uses to pollute our water with hair dye and stuff. I spend most of my money on other people and healthy food.. Fairtrade, organic.. :) What you eat is not just energy. What you eat becomes new cells. It turns into who you are. A collection of cells that cooperate. Live long and get wiser every day. What you practice is what you become good at. Whether you practice something good or something stupid.. You choose :) ..and you will be good at it.

I'm getting good at never giving up. I will keep finding new ways to do good in this world.. My goal is to do something every day.

Hablo español también :) Cada lengua es una ventana nueva. Ves el mundo en una manera nueva. Tu historia me da más esperanza. Si quieres hacer algo puedes hacer y no esperes que otros lo hagan en el futuro. Creo que tu vida está cambiando hoy. Tu actúas ahora :-) Cada día cambias el mundo. Cada vez que escuchas las historias de otros y entiendes. Cada vez que compartes tu historia y cada vez que otros escuchan.

Gracias de todo corazón.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AndresGarner
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Great comment I agree with every word, I lingot you! Tus palabras son tan ciertas, estoy de acuerdo es muy triste que hay tanta gente que necesita comida, agua, casas, y ropa y en los piases como Los Estadios Unidos y solo pensamos en nosotros cuando hay mucha gente en el mundo que están sufriendo y necestitan nuestra ayuda.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mirandak122

This is painfully true. There are so many people out there that are suffering, and we don't often stop to think about how blessed we are even with the little things. Thank you for this post, because it has reminded me to be more grateful! :)

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/zseech
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You may want to try the website gratefulness.org to nourish your freshened empathies.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ChevyBarnes05
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This is something I should consider after completing the Spanish course. Watch a documentary. This is so beautiful (in the sense of gratitude), yet horribly true. Third world problems, versus first world problems. Thanks, have three lingots (I have 108)

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ARCANA-MVSA
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My experience is that oftentimes first-world countries are so busy looking up that they forget - or don't bother - to look down. It's certainly true in mine.

Thank you for telling your story. It's posts like these that really make my day.

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Vetkent
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¡Nueva lengua, vida nueva, ojos nuevos! No hay realmente una comparación digna entre ellos y nosotros. ¡Por suerte, por causalidad no importa! Deberíamos dar gracias todos los días.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AndresGarner
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si, estoy de acuerdo

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MinitureHorses

Thankyou for sharing, we all sometimes need to look out for the less fortunate people and be grateful for what we have :D

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SanjayPalta

I agree with every word you said. Thank you so much! You are changing the world for the better. We need more people to realize what you have realized. If we can do that, we can all work together to make the world a better place.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

I lingot you Andres, and understand.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Moira582602

3Dmonocle thank you. Your are so right. Sitting watching videos and learning the language isn't going to help the folks who are suffering. Nor is being thankful for what we have - good though that might be.

How about donating to a recognised charity that can help?

I lived in some of the poorest countries of W Africa and got sick of folks giving their sympathy. We need to finance those who can make a difference by teaching better farming methods, providing doctors, feeding children i.e Doctors without borders, UNICEF, Save the Children, Oxfam, Christian Aid, CAFOD etc. There are many charities out there that can make a difference. Let's give them support instead of looking and shaking our heads.

Keep yourself informed about the world around and not just your own wee corner.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Moira. Not good to assume or lecture. Most of us keep quietly modest about what we give and what we do and how informed we are!

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/zseech
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Indeed. The personal benefits of generosity, and they are significant, tend to dissipate when we wrap our identity (usually via our words) around it.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AndresGarner
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To be honest with you, I have actually sent stuff and support to Guatemala, Jamaica, and many other places, I just do not talk about it much because I feel like it is nobody's business what I do. The last sentence "Keep yourself informed about the world around and not just your own wee corner." is a little weird could you please expound?

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Lola651219

Bravo and thanks for this. Speaking another language is a step towards becoming a global citizen .

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/xxxdboyxxx

i agree my fine sir

from your dearest

xxxdboyxxx

March 18, 2019
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