if you’re reading this you live in an enviable place

20 years ago the Internet didn’t exist.

20 years ago cell phones were for the wealthy.

20 short years ago the world was a very different place.

Go back even further and the differences are startling.

The other day my wife forwarded me a post by her personal trainer because she thought it would be something I’d like – she was right.

I have posted it below for your perusal, but for those who want the quick version – our lives today are pretty dang good compared to how our parents and grandparents had it.

Take my grandfather for example. He earned a living washing windows.

Summer or winter he was out there, braving the English weather.

That is until he fell and broke both his legs.

From that time on he was forced to sell insurance and his wife (my grandmother) had to run a local store.

Life was hard and my father swore that he’d never go into business for himself because he had seen how hard it had been on his own parents.

So my father decided to work for a company. Textiles were his expertise, but when much of the manufacturing jobs moved overseas in the early 80s, he got laid off which forced my mother to pick up a few part-time jobs.

I don’t remember it, but my father told me that he was the one who used to put me to bed in those days as my mother worked late.

But as luck would have it, he got one job offer – in the Philippines, which at the time no one even knew where that was.

A few months later I learnt that we were moving to the Philippines and that I needed to get some shots (not fun I might add).

What I didn’t know until many years later was that when my father came back from his first interview there his response to my mother asking him if the job was good or not was, “It’s good money but you’ll hate it.”

My mother said, “If it’s good for you then it’s good for us,” and at the age of 45 my mother and my father 35 said goodbye to the only place they had ever known.

Little did we know that decision would change the course of our lives forever.

Life was good there but it was by no means easy.

My father had to work long hours and I only saw him on the weekends.

It was next to impossible to get many of the things we had taken for granted back in England.

But with a little luck slowly things started to change.

So much so that I honestly can’t remember not having dinner with both my parents. Those days are a distant memory.

Parents often sacrifice in the hope that their children can live a better life than their own.

That was true with my own parents and I’m sure the same can be said about yours.

Today, if you are reading this on your phone or on your computer, you are enjoying a life that many of our ancestors would have thought of as a dream.

That doesn’t mean life isn’t without its challenges. No matter how good our lives are we will be constantly presented with challenges to which we can either rise to, or fall from.

I, for one, am grateful for everything my parents did.

Now it’s up to me to make sure that I do the same for my son. I’m sure that you will do the same for your children.

Why? Cuz that’s part of what makes life worth living.

Life’s not about just living, but about making our mark and leaving the world a better place for us having been in it.

Appreciate all that you have around you because to live in the world we have today with all its modern amenities truly is a blessing.

Adrian Shepherd



by Andrew Morgan

There are few things that give me the same kick up the ass I need when I unmotivated or pessimistic about things, than when reflecting on the lives my grandparents and great-grandparents led.

All the comforts of the 21st century make it easy to forget where we came from. Sometimes we just need an attitude shift, some reminder to put things in perspective.

Think back to when you were told stories of, or try to imagine the different lives yours would have had. Compare with how comfortably you are living now.

Anytime I think something’s tough I just think about my grandfather and his father.

Both coal miners. Neither of them saw daylight during winter.

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