On Saturday, we took the kids to the circus for the first time. The first half, they were mesmerized and delighted — and it was so fun to see them experience the sights and sounds of a circus for the first time.
At intermission, a lot of kids came back to their seats with various different toys and items they were selling as souvenirs at the circus. There was one spinning light-up toy in particular that caught our childrens’ eyes.
This plastic toy looked cool in the dark auditorium, but it was not at all worth the price tag they were asking for it. We explained this to our children and we opted to buy a bag of cotton candy instead — a special treat I remember from my trip to the circus as a young girl.
When the second half started, one of our children could not watch the circus at all. Instead, this child was completed focused on the fact that children around us had this plastic light-up toy and they didn’t.
For 15 minutes, this child sat and moped that they didn’t have their own plastic light-up toy… completely missing all of the amazing stunts, colors, and choreography going on in the circus ring below.
As we were walking back to our car when the circus was over, I realized what a poignant picture this was of what we often do in our own lives. Instead of enjoying the beauty of life that is right in front of us, we zero in on whatever it is that someone has that we don’t.
And then we whine, complain, and feel sorry for ourselves that we don’t have that one shiny plastic toy. In the process, we fail to see the blessings that our right under our noses — if only we could stop complaining long enough to appreciate them!
Let’s stop wishing we could have what someone else does, and start being grateful for what we already have. As I’ve found in my own life, when I start looking for things to be thankful for, I realize the list is almost endless.