Friday, 6 May 2011

You are Royalty.

Last night during dinner, I did something I had never done before. As the guys were finishing off their meals, I pulled out a book and read aloud from it.

They all listened - well, Rocco got bored and kept trying to talk over me and I used my patient words and kept asking him gently to wait until mummy had finished talking. He did.

This is a true story, written by a guy called Scott Sabol. The book is this inspirational-type picture book for adults called 1. It's bloody unreal.

"Seattle is a beautiful place, but in the 1980s I was living in a beat-up beach cabin. I had an old TV, a lumpy futon, and one of those white plastic Princess Phones. I was basically broke, but my noisy old refrigerator was stuffed with fresh vegetables, eggs, fruit, beer and frozen pizza...and I had a spectacular view of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains and the Seattle skyline.

That year, I volunteered to host a college exchange student from Guinea-Bissau, Africa. When I picked him up at the airport, Salvatore was easy to spot. He was 23 tall and regal-looking, with a huge smile and lustrous blue-black skin. He had lived his entire life as a barefoot fisherman in a small native village located on a big river deep in the jungle of Guinea-Bissau...and now his village had raised the money to send him to study U.S. Fisheries on their behalf. He had travelled directly from his African village to Seattle, and I could see he was astonished at what he saw as we drove through the beautiful city.

When we arrived at my raggedy cabin, I worried that Salvatore might be disappointed with his new accommodations. He seemed somber as I showed him the little bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, TV and telephone. What was Salvatore thinking? I decided to take him out on the little deck to try to impress him with the view. The snow-clad mountains were spread out against the sky that day, and one of Seattle's majestic white ferries was gliding across the sparkling waters of Puget Sound. We stood there silently for awhile, and then Salvatore turned to me with his brow deeply knit in thought.

"You are a king?" he asked. "No," I laughed "I'm just an everyday person like you." Salvatore was silent for a moment , and then he turned again and said quite clearly and emphatically, "You are a King." And it suddenly dawned on me that he was right. All these years I had been a king and not known it."

- Scott Sabol, Ph.D.


I stopped reading, almost all choked up, to look up and see Dave almost choked up. This is why I love him again, over and over.

I read the slew of facts on the next page ... "If you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world's population. If you have a little money in the bank or some spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy. If you can drink water from your kitchen tap, you are more fortunate than 1.5 billion people who have no access to clean water at all."

"If your everyday problems are weighing you down, there are millions of people on Earth who would gladly trade places with you right now - problems and all - and feel they have been royally blessed.

Remember: From those to whom much is given, much is expected."


Max spoke about what I had read for the rest of the night, and again this morning. His 9-year old brain starting to tick over and look around. At our luxury, our luck. And hopefully .. our gratitude.


  1. That is awesome. And so true. Ive never been as grateful for what I have as I have been this week, we will never be rich in our possessions but as long as we have each other we will always be rich in our hearts.
    Thanks for sharing this x

  2. This is fucking amazing... How friggen true... Just wow... now I am choking up a little.
    This is exactly why I love you so xx

  3. wow, that brought a tear to my eye.
    Really makes you stop and think.

  4. I’ve heard this one before, BUT it never gets old. The venue changes, the “visitor” changes but the sentiment is always the same – there but for the grace of God (more or less). Thank you for bringing this to the front of my consciousness – it is indeed priceless. I will take the time (as soon as I shut this computer down) to count and rejoice in all of my many blessings. I will alter my perspective to include this much better and bigger view.

    The idea of reading at the family dinner table is great. Occasionally we did this BUT we were each reading our own book. Your way is MUCH better. I think I’ll try this at our next full family food function. I’ll even use your book!

    I’m so very glad that I found you! Thanks Eden.

  5. I choked up reading this.
    Thanks for the reality check, I needed it today.

  6. I Love that you find all these marvellous words to share with us all.... I am at work and crying... What a profound thing for Max to listen to at 9. I love you xxxx Mum

  7. It´s amazing. love your post.

  8. it sometimes takes a moment to see how bad others have it in order to realise how good we, us, i have it but when we do the key is not to forget it.

    great post.


  9. That is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing. xx

  10. Oh Eden! I love that story :) And we have a printout of that quote ("If you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a place to sleep, you are richer...") in its entirety on our kitchen wall. The kids stop to read it often, and it has prompted them to realise how much they really do have.

    We are so incredibly lucky.


  11. Ah, we take so much for granted. Thank for this post and reminding me that I truly have so much.

  12. I need to get me a copy of that book. Something to remind ourselves of every day x

  13. Thank you for posting this. It's a beautiful story. The statistics I've heard before, and try to remember...especially when I feel like life's kicking me in the manberries.
    That whole not having to wrestle my food thing is a hell of a blessing.

  14. Eden, I have been lurking on your blog and love it - thanks for sharing this powerful story.

  15. This reminded me of Brian, my old & trusty repair guy who has helped bring back to life many of my kitchen appliances. One time he pulled my oven into the middle of the kitchen, stripped it and discovered he needed a part he didn't have, it would be 2 days before he could get it. 'But my kitchen looks like a bomb site' I dramatically declared. 'I bet the people who live in Fallujah wished they lived in such a bomb site'he answered calmly. The oven stayed in the middle of the kitchen he returned two days later and returned it to its former working glory. I remember his words every time I think about or hear myself bemoaning about stuff I am lucky to have, you are so right, we are indeed royalty. Love your posts x

  16. Dear Eden,
    I live north of Seattle so when I started reading the story I got a big smile on my face. Then as I kept reading a tear came to my eye. A smile and a tear...2 of the best things in life! I appreciate perspective like this so much, so thank you SO MUCH for sharing it!

    PS: I have quoted you in my blog, and I believe I will again! xx

  17. What a wonderful story, and so true. If only more people knew just how lucky they are.

    Thank you for reminding me.

  18. I love you. You are changing your corner of the world. x

  19. That was truly beautiful. I like to think I take pause now and then to appreciate my life, but now it seems that needs to be an every day exercise.

  20. I agree...he's King...Seattle is also an awesome place you should visit. I'm from Seattle and blog at Lessons from the Monk I Married. You might have heard of me, or not? Anyway, nice to find you here!

  21. Let me first say that I agree with the overall premise of the story - I have an incredibly easy life (even compared to many other first world inhabitants) and I am grateful for it.


    What I object to is the inference that you don't experience pain in life because you have a certain standard of living. Deaths and sicknesses and tragedies (major or minor) happen in all cultures and they hurt similarly for everyone. Just because I might experience something from the comfort of my living room rather than on the plains of Africa doesn't make it less meaningful. I find this type of story dismissive of that concept. The reason why I have such a strong reaction to this is because my husband pulls this kind of thing out on me occasionally, when he's deployed and living in a tent. So, yeah, be grateful for what you have, but don't let that make you feel like you can't complain about random poo.

    No offense meant at all...

  22. You are a Queen my friend, thank you for sharing such a beautiful story with me.

    Personally my perspective has changed, I don't complain about random poo anymore...yeah I get irritated but giving it all mind time is a waste. I am changing the way I think, the way I see the world and it's bloody tough at times.

    We live in a priviledged society here in Canada and I'm grateful and determined to try and keep it in perspective.

  23. I thank you for sharing this with us....and applaud you for sharing this kind of thinking with your children. For this, you will be blessed!

  24. Thanks
    Just thanks
    You show so many a "new way" to view, to think & to feel.

  25. Tears in my eyes.
    Thanks for posting Eden.

  26. Thanks for that Eden, something to remember while I bitch about the price of gas while I fill up my SUV.


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...