We Get To

Brett Hagler
May 18, 2016

Memorial Day. A time to remember, be grateful and be damn proud to be an American. But as we know, unfortunately, when people hit work this week it will be back to the status quo of complaining and taking for granted what our war heroes have laid down their lives for. I don't think people do this on purpose, it just happens over time as they feel more comfortable and entitled. To change this, a good first step is understanding three simple words: we get to.

We get to.

For us civilians, we didn't do anything to deserve what we have. We didn't do anything to deserve to be born in the greatest and most protected country in the world. It just happened. It was a gift. Literally millions of people have put their lives on the line so that "we get to" live out the American dream. Take a moment to let that register.

Understanding this, we should be the most grateful people in the world. But it often turns out to be the opposite. The comfort provided by the American war warriors, causes us to fall into the lull of taking precious gifts for granted. Instead of acknowledging the gift of "we get to," we succumb to the first-world problem of "we have to."

Exchange "have to" with "get to"

Do you have to go to work tomorrow, or do you get to?

Do you have to spend time studying, or do you get to?

Do you have to get up earlier to prepare your kid's day, or do you get to?

Do you have to give up an hour to volunteer, or do you get to?

You get the point.

Tremendous gratitude

This is not some fluffy, positive self-talk stuff. Being born in this country, we should all have nothing short of tremendous gratitude every single day. If you need a reality check, take a trip to a third-world country, read some history, and talk to your kids about what's going on with the refugee crisis. The worst thing we can do is go on living our lives without understanding the reality of what "we get to" do. And hopefully, understanding that gift, it will trigger gratitude, and gratitude will trigger action.

Brett Hagler
Building @newstorycharity. Follower of Christ. YC alum. Go get your dream.