Taking Things for Granted

by Edward Irungu

A famous English novelist and critic by the name Aldous Huxley once stated that “Most human beings have an absolute and infinite capacity for taking things for granted” Living in America for some years has proven to me that statement does apply. Many people in America don’t really realize what they have, and by doing so, they don’t take advantage of it.

America has a lot of education opportunities and jobs and is economically blessed. I lived in a continent that would consider those qualities dreams. Even though American at the moment is going though an economic downturn, no one is dying of starvation and the dollar is still holding strong. If you compare that with the economy of a country like Zimbabwe, which is also going through major economic troubles, you couldn’t even come to a comparison. It’s the total opposite. Zimbabwe has been facing major hyper inflation. The situation up there is so bad and their currency is so weak that in January of this year they introduced a 50,000,000,000 note. They are now even introducing plans to issue 10, 20, 50, and 100 trillion bank notes. This is just one of the infinite number of problems the Third World is facing.

Don’t let me be misunderstood. I’m not writing this attacking Americans but writing of what I see every day. It’s reality; this is what’s happening. America is considered a land of opportunities, and education accounts for a huge percentage of the American opportunity chart. The American government has set up a system where K though 12 students receive a free education; but yet, over a million American students drop out of high school every year. Back in my home country Kenya, located in East African, education is not free. From K though 12, parents have to pay a monthly school fee for each of their children that attend school. Finding this kind of money is not easy for the parents. Some parents have no choice but to make painful decisions like having to take all the children out of school or picking who stays in school and who stays home;. Getting an education is a luxury in Third World countries. Many American students show the lack of understanding of how fortunate they are.

We in America take things like food and clothing for granted. In a country like Sudan which has been ravaged by civil war, simple things like food and clothing are obsolete. The people are starving and children are walking around with not a single thread of clothing on them day in and day out.

We should understand that not all people are fortunate as us here in America. We have to all stop being uninformed, stop showing ignorance, and most of all we have to stop taking things for granted.


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3 Responses to “Taking Things for Granted”

  1. Noni Wanyee Says:

    I concur with your statement article. I have lived in California for over 20 something years and you discribe what many Kenyans living in
    America feel. Are you x-kilimani Class of ’81 by any chance?

  2. Kayla Says:

    My homework was to research education and answer the question: Do we as a society take education for granted? I do think we take for granted education. This article made me understand that there are many people who don’t even have the option the learn. Sometimes I don’t want to go to school, but if I didn’t then i would never be able to go to college or get a job to earn money. When I get older and eventually have children, I would love to help them or answer their questions, but If I didn’t go to school myself that would not be possible…

  3. Amina Says:

    I do agree with this statement completely, how i wish i could get a scholarship to pursue a masters programme abroad. currently am in kenya and is eager to complete my studies abroad, hopefully to a PHD level. i grew up in west pokot district of kenya to a normadic family that sacrified its earnings from sellings livestock to take me through private education in nairobi. i personaly have learnt never to take any hard earned oppportunity for granted. It is only the wearer who knows where the shoes pinches.


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