Last month there was a post in the NY times titled “So Similar, So Different”. An extremely touching, and eye opening account by Nicholas Kristof , who travels with a student, Nicole, 20, to Myanmar. In Myanmar they meet a 20-year-old woman, Sajan, born at almost the same time as Nicole, and marvel at the difference the ‘lottery of birth’ has created in their lives, along with the opportunities that are vastly unequal. Sajan, married at 13 and has two children, owns four pieces of clothing and cannot leave her home without her husband’s permission. While Nicole is a student at an Ivy League college in the United States, doesn’t plan to marry until she is 30, and grew up in Long Island NY. The article is a wonderful call to action for those of us with many opportunities in life to be grateful for them, create more for others, and to realize we are responsible not to waste them.
In response to the article, Joshua Becker at BecomingMinimalist.com wrote the post “The Responsibility of Opportunity”; expanding on the original story and the responsibilities we have with increased opportunity. His post is poignant and powerful, reminding us to be grateful for what we have, and to remember others and provide care for them. His words provide motivation and an awareness of our responsibility to better the world around us so others can have more opportunities in their lives. He mentions diligence, owning less and not overvaluing comfort in addition to everyday gratitude as means to recognizing and providing opportunities for others.