"Those who have been or currently are in the Foster Care System, what do you wish people knew?" –– That was today's burning question from Redditor KanyesNotABadGuy, opening the door for one of the more eye-opening topics to catch our attention in a while.
"I got really, really lucky..."
I got really, really lucky and was placed with a decent family that didn't treat me like a second-class citizen. I was family. I've seen horror stories of other places where kids starve or are mistreated in their homes. I had the best possible situation and I won't deny that at all.
However.. It's still so much to deal with as a small child. Remember when you were a kid and you cried when left at the babysitters? Imagine going to live at the babysitter's house. My mom wasn't a bad mom.. she was a troubled woman trying to get away from an abuser. I was in the home for about half a decade.. which is an eternity as a small kid. At 10, half my life had been split between two moms and I wasn't sure what I was allowed to feel. When I finally went back home would my real mom be upset that I missed my foster mom? Should I talk about missing my old school?
The home I stayed at also had upwards of four foster kids at a time, who shuffled in and out. A bunch of kids from ages 3-16 who had been through some horrendous stuff. And there I was, a broken kid surrounded by other broken kids. It's a hell of an environment, no matter how good the parents are.
"Had a pretty happy family..."
Had a pretty happy family until I was in high school. Played sports, oldest of my siblings, middle class family, no worries. Right before high school my mom and dad got divorced. We stayed with my mom and things went down hill from there. I ended up aging out of foster care.
I think some of the most important things some people should realize is that supporting the child during foster care AND after they have aged out are key. I was lucky enough to be part of a program where they would give me a stipend every month as long as I was a full time student or working a full time job. I can't tell you how critical it was and how beneficial having that extra money to help buy a car, groceries, and an apartment was. Even with no family or safety net I ended up becoming a pretty good functioning member of society.
I also want to add that Case workers are sometimes some of the greatest people on this earth and can really make or break a child's life. From placement into a home, to advocacy for you in family court, to showing you all the resources available to you as a state ward or foster child.
The last thing would be that being patient with someone who has gone through that is a big thing. I had no idea what a health romantic relationship looked like and had issues with that. Figuring out what a work ethic was, how important insurance was, how to get it, how to get a bank account. Basic every day life is not easy when you're constantly thinking about if you'll need to pack your things in a trash bag in 5 minutes to go to another house or not. So be patient, hold the the person the child or young adult accountable, and show some love. It'll make a huge difference.
"I was in foster care..."
I was in foster care from when I was 3 until I was 7. Whenever I talk to people about it, they always immediately assume it was terrible. But it really wasn't. For one thing, I was moved between 5 or 6 different houses in that time. And only one of them was actually terrible. The rest of the households were really loving. They generally accepted me as part of the family, and although it was hard to get used to at first, over time it felt like they were my family.
Foster parents are unbelievably nice people. The fact that they were so willing to bring these kids they've never met before in, and treat them like family is mind blowing. Most of the families even let my Mom come see us so that way we wouldn't feel bad.
"I wish people..."
I wish people didn't take for granted the beauty and the importance of found families for people who had to live in foster care. found family means everything for me. and i feel like people don't appreciate found families a lot, or they take those families very lightly.
"We need people..."
I wish people knew that we had to learn certain coping mechanisms that create barriers- we had to in order to survive.
We need people in our lives willing to help us remove the barriers, to know that all we want is to feel safe, to feel loved.
We know its hard to do.
We need you.
"Now I'm an adult..."
I was in foster care, on and off, for some of middle/high school. It was whatever, and always a difficult adjustment to living the life I was living (no rules, everyone doing drugs all of the time) and seemingly I'd get more in line and fit in with the family and then get moved back home or with a family member and then it would start again.
I want people to know how hard early adulthood is with no family though. I turned 17, got kicked out and was too old to be replaced. I graduated high school living at my boyfriend's parents house at the time. I had, miraculously, had a teacher who told me I could go to college and he actually helped me make that happen.
I mean, this man showed up to my part time job on the weekends and dropped off food/books/gift-cards for gas and helped me fill out a FASFA and write my admissions essay. He literally changed my life, because he cared.
Now I'm an adult (26) and I am still amazed I made it. I don't have kids of my own, but I can't wait to get to the point where I can foster kids. I know what it's like, and sometimes being a foster parent isnt only "Im going to adopt a baby", sometimes it's "I'm gonna make sure this angry 16 year old knows their options for the future" and I want to be that person for someone.
"A crisis comes up..."
Foster care was fine. It's after you leave it that is hard. Being a new adult with absolutely nobody to guide you. You want to move; you have no help. A crisis comes up, you have nobody to call. Nobody to help you figure out anything about jobs or apartments or bank accounts or insurance. No mom or dad to lend you 20 bucks when your pay cheque isn't going to last until next payday. You are sent out on your own, 18 years old, completely alone and no idea how anything works in the world. It's terrifying.
"You are often..."
I was in foster care in my teens. My experience may be different than others but I found that if you aren't small and cute you are treated as tainted goods. The social worker doesn't really care about you unless you can make the business money and if you make them good money they find a way to keep you for as long as possible. They can keep a child until they are 24 quite easily.
You are often treated as if you are bad because your parents didn't want you anymore. Upon arriving at a group home I was instantly stripped of all privileges including being able to listen to music and had to earn the smallest of things back over the next 3 months.
It felt like I was being punished.
There are also no resources for when you leave the system. Foster families are often low income, using you for the extra income given to take care of you without actually using that money on you. They often don't teach you life skills. Education can easily get messed up because you are moved around as soon as you become an inconvenience to the family. Switching between blocks and periods makes it so that your credits don't count in certain instances. When I left foster care I found out a year and a half of my schooling wouldn't count and it took another 3 months for them to transfer my records. The school told me to drop out and get my GED.
"I was in foster care..."
I was in foster care for about a year and one thing I wish more parents knew is:
Patience is so important for some children, a lot of us come from troubled pasts and trying to immediately force change whether it be things like schedule or behavior can do so much more harm than good and getting frustrated with us isn't helping much either.
"I always appreciate..."
I was in and out of foster care as a teen, 21 now. I wish people knew how incredibly difficult and lonely life can be when you age out of the system or reach adulthood. I was lucky enough to go to college and have most of my expenses paid for but it was really hard to navigate college and find support systems because colleges aren't really equipped to handle kids like us.
I always appreciated the adult mentors that tried treat me like their daughter and the friends that invited me to spend time with their families, as long as it wasn't out of pity.
I had to leave college last January (I was two years in) for a plethora of reasons. Hopefully one day I'll get to go back. The college graduation rate for former foster youth is incredibly low and I want to give kids a little hope that they're more than a statistic and their story is still unwritten.
"My Husband and I...."
My husband and I were set to foster. We had done the classes, home study, everything. However, I was diagnosed with cancer and we were unable to complete, we were then denied when we reapplied when I was in remission.
I was able to join an organization that partners with foster teens who are aging out of the system to provide mentoring services.
I am in HR and I help with resumes, interview prep, job seeking etc. I am also just an adult who is available to listen. There are ways to support the foster system if you are unable to foster a child. I am so grateful that I am allowed this opportunity! Krankenloffel
For the $$$
Family did foster care for 26 years. I was adopted when I was 5. Some are pure and want to help and maybe expand. Some are in it for $. Reddit
"The Little Brother"
I have a little brother who was adopted from the foster system. Our parents are good people. The most heartbreaking things that I noticed from him in the beginning were a kind of confusion at being treated well by our parents and also confusion at being treated as just one of us/included as a family member.
There are some not so good foster homes out there... throwawaysmetoo
Due to an ugly custody battle between my parents my sister and I spent a short time in foster care (about a year). And i was 3 when I was put in foster care, my sister a little older. I was in my "potty training" days and my foster parents made me wear diapers 24-7 and whenever I used the bathroom in my diaper they rubbed it in my face like I was a dog. Then also while I was there I got chicken pox really bad and they refused to take me to the doctor or get me any kind of cream to help the itching, just let me suffer. crazycatm0m
I personally am not a foster child, but my dad and step mom did foster care. I've had over 100 foster siblings over the years as a result. Some they've adopted, a few aged out, and most were placed back into their homes or with other relatives.
From my perspective the worst thing is when parents hang onto their rights and get their kids back. They clean up their act just well enough in the states eyes, but really nothing has changed. The kids then wind up back in the system, or even more messed up than before.
Some parents really do change for the better and become fit to parent, it's just the ones who don't that make it hard to watch. AnObviousDisinterest
My wife and I recently got our first foster care placement about three weeks ago. It's been a short time, but this has been the best and most fulfilling experience of my life. My little foster daughter is such a wonderful, strong little girl, and I am happy to be able to provide her with a safe and loving home. This is the first time in her life she's lived somewhere and not had a lot of other kids around, and I think she's really flourishing with the one on on attention. Slinkarooni
I come from a family that fostered for years with one foster moving in with us at 11 and never leaving. My parents are actually in the process of adopting him now in his mid 20s. I wish more people knew about how many weirdos are in the system. Some of the families we met were clearly just in it for the money or were super religious weirdos that seemed like they collected children.
If you're a good person who wants to do some good in the world, become a foster parent. It's one of the hardest things my family has ever done, couple kids were violent and eventually institutionalized, but so many more just want someone to love and believe in them. It was also incredibly rewarding and landed me another brother who I love very much. Tress33
It's not that bad....
It's not as bad as people might think.
But, I also consider myself very lucky because I know it could have been worse.
I was taken away and placed with a foster family immediately, when I was 2. They later adopted me when I was 5. My earliest memories? They were just like you would expect with any other family. The made absolutely sure that we weren't treated like anything other than family.
Things were a lot harder for them then it was for me, as they fostered other children, children they didn't think should go back to their families but there was nothing they could do. One of their biggest regrets was not being able to adopt my brother as well, since the courts ruled in the favor of his father (half siblings).
They taught me that just because someone is related to you, doesn't make you family. Those that treat you like family, are family. Mrs0Murder
Some farmers use foster kids as essentially slave labor. I was one of those kids. I got up at 4:30am to go round up the cows off the 180 acres, and get milking started before I could get ready for school. In summer it was the same except full herd milking and more chores all day.
Couldn't ever go anywhere, and smelled like dung all the time no matter how much I showered. Hated it. Ran away, but social services brought me back. I did learn a good work ethic though. trickyelf
My sister is a foster parent. She said that the episode of The Simpson's where they have to go to parenting classes to get the kids back is closer to reality than you'd think. Nach0Man_RandySavage
Whenever I visit clothing stores, I make it a point to fold the clothes I unfurl. That is apparently my downfall as a customer.
Because of this, fellow customers often peg me as an employee and always ask me questions like where the bathroom is, or if the store has certain sizes left in stock.
Umm, no, I don't work here. I'm just a responsible customer. As you were.
Many of us make assumptions about other people just by looking at them. Who knew we were so presumptuous?
Curious to hear the experiences of strangers online, Redditor lilmizzvalz asked:
"What do people assume about you, based on your appearance?"
People often misinterpret moods based on how someone looks. That's unfair, wouldn't you say?
"That I'm caring and supportive. I have a resting nice face."
"That I am always mad. Nope just dissociating and staring off into space."
Not Meaning To Be Mean
"That I'm mean. I have a resting mean face for a dude I guess. Also lately it's worse because I'm bigger now. I don't really notice how my face appears but apparently, I seem angry when I'm looking at stuff."
"'You should smile' and 'are you ok?' comments followed me from busboy, waiter, bartender my whole career."
When it comes to measuring intelligence of others, some people are just way off.
Hard To Live Up To Expectations
"That I'm clever. People keep saying it to me, but I'm dumb and that sh*t is hard to live up to."
"I have glasses."
Eyes Full Of Wisdom
"I apparently have something similar going on mixed with looking like I know sh*t, because people come up to me in public and ask about directions, bus schedules and stuff all the time. Like, they'll deliberately avoid other people to ask me. Including when I'm abroad and should look a bit out of place."
"They assume I have an intellectual disability. (And also that I'm deaf, since I'm not able to speak.)"
"No, I am a person with two university degrees who happen to need a wheelchair because of a nasty neurological illness."
People don't always look their age. Some don't even act their age. But these Redditors have gotten their fair share of wrong guesses for their ages.
"That I'm 15."
"I'm 38 and a doctor. 'Did you just finish school?' EVERY DAY."
"This thread was depressing to read as I am 38 but often get mistaken for 50. I hate y'all and your youthful beauty."
Some people are typed out as certain types of people with just one look.
Watch Your Tone
"That I have a southern accent. Not one stranger has ever suspected that I have a 'New Jersey' accent (Born and raised in New Jersey before moving south)"
Not A Biker
"That I ride a Harley and/or work on them. I'm bald with a long goatee and tons of tattoos, but I'm in IT for a living and don't ride motorcycles at all."
Like others have expressed in the thread, I've also been accused of having "resting b*tch face."
You know, that neutral expression where you're not smiling the one time you're not in a situation where you have to be "on" for other people?
Yeah, that one.
If someone's resting face comes across as unfriendly, well, perhaps it's best not to upset them by asking them what's wrong all the time. Just sayin'.
Ideally, a teacher should take the job because of a genuine interest in helping students, furthering their education as well as their self-development. Of course, it's not as simple as that (administrative issues aside). Unfortunately, there are some teachers out there who aren't cut out for the job––and they even have a mean streak when it comes to their students. The effects this can have on the learning process are dire.
Teachers don't get paid well, and they're well aware. Many stick with the job because they have a passion for teaching; many others stick with the job because of the position of inscrutable authority it offers them over helpless students.
People shared their experiences after Redditor Ara-Rat asked the online community,
"What did your teacher do that made you call them 'the worst teacher ever'?"
"Questioned 5th-grade teacher's manner of pluralizing a word on the board. Got sent to the library to look it up in a dictionary and report my findings to the class.
Decades later and I'm still mad at that woman for trying to publicly humiliate a ten-year-old student."
That's awful. What is with adults who try to deliberately an example out of children?
"My old band teacher..."
"My old band teacher threw a projector at his students. He left the district later that year."
That was... probably for the best, when you think about it. (I had a teacher who threw a girl's pencil case out the window when she wouldn't stop talking; no, he was not fired.)
"My 3rd-grade teacher..."
"My 3rd-grade teacher got frustrated with a kid's stutter and started pounding the kid's desk with a closed fist while mocking his stutter."
Hopefully this teacher was disciplined and/or fired. That's the sort of behavior that thankfully would not fly today––it would go viral so fast.
"The worst were the teachers..."
"The worst were the teachers who would take books away from me and hold me up for ridicule because they disagreed or didn't approve of the genre or subject material. I was always into science fiction and horror genre's and many of them didn't consider it true literature worthy of reading. I remember my father getting into it with one of the teachers who disapproved of Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, to which he pointed out it was on the required reading list of a lot of major universities. Dad was awesome like that, and chewed the teacher and principal out for having the temerity to try to stop any student who wanted to read, regardless of what the genre was."
Teachers who mock students for reading are the worst. Reading is one of the best things any student can do––there are so many benefits! Hopefully you have not lost your love of reading.
"When I'd instinctively try..."
"She tied me to my chair. I was hyperactive, and also 5. She would also hold my hand during formation in the mornings and squeeze so hard my tiny knuckles would crack. When I'd instinctively try to pull my hand away, she'd hold onto it and smile at me and ask me if it hurt."
The abuse here is almost incomprehensible. But it happens: a few years ago, a teacher made headlines for hanging a student by his coat on a coatrack. You can bet there were lawsuits.
"I was in the only dress I owned..."
"Tried to get me suspended for a dress code violation when I was 15. I was in the only dress I owned at the time because I was going to my best friend's funeral. She'd committed suicide two days before. I was crying and begging her to just let me stay till my mom picked up my remaining friends to go to the funeral. Said teacher then took me to the office and I had to sit in the front office under a tarp until my mom picked me up."
"My 8th grade English teacher..."
"My 8th grade English teacher never published grades and every time I'd ask her about it she'd answer with, "I don't know, what do you think it is?"
IF I KNEW WOULD I BE ASKING?!"
I've had a few teachers like this. Makes one wonder: Are you actually grading anything? WHAT are you doing, exactly?
"My biology teacher..."
"My biology teacher took my yearbook away right before the summer break. I didn't put it away in time.
That year my parents divorced and I was moving away. I told her this after class and she didn't care. She kept it until the last day. I didn't get any signatures.
Ended up throwing it away. What a witch."
"My university lecturer..."
"My university lecturer was the most incompetent bloke I've ever met. He taught I.T and for the life of me, I can't figure out how he got that job.
- In the first lesson, he got us to sign up to Twitter so we could share lesson content, tweet at each other so we'd get to know one another, and also tweet him. Everybody, including the lecturer, used Twitter once. We just used the university intranet to share stuff.
- Again, during the first lesson, he announced he was going on holiday for four weeks during our first term.
- All of his lessons were PowerPoint presentations, each slide had about a paragraph of text written on them which he would read out loud while awkwardly looking over his shoulder. Once he was done doing that he would essentially repeat what he had just said.
- One day he asked us for help in booking his airline tickets online because he couldn't figure out how to use the website.
As sad as these stories are, consider that these teachers are very much the exception to the rule. The majority of the teachers I have known over the years genuinely care for their students, work tirelessly on their lesson plans, and would never tolerate a single moment of the behavior featured here. Thank you to those teachers for doing their jobs––we appreciate you. (And ya'll deserve a raise, it's honestly messed up how little lawmakers understand about how hard your jobs actually are.)
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide refer to, as defined by Medical News Today, as the "deliberate action taken with the intention of ending a life, in order to relieve persistent suffering." It's a controversial topic. As of 2021, active human euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Canada, and Spain. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, the Australian states of Victoria Northern Territory, and Western Australia.
But this issue has many passionate supporters who often know what it's like to care for someone who would have benefited from the practice. They told their stories after Redditor Random2328 asked the online community,
"What are your thoughts on medically assisted death?"
"She was able to go to a place in Switzerland..."
"My grandma was 89 and wasn't dying of anything in particular—she didn't have cancer or dementia or anything—but her memory was slowly failing and her body was generally falling apart from old age and a leg injury from fifty years prior. She had been a widow for fourteen years. She was lonely and in pain all the time and her family lived across the ocean so we couldn't see her as much as we'd want to.
There was nothing actively killing her, but she did NOT want to be alive anymore. She wasn't depressed, just old and in pain and ready to be done.
She was able to go to a place in Switzerland, with all four of her children, and take a pill to end her life while her children sang to her and she looked out at the mountains.
We all got to say goodbye to her and she got to be completely in control of the end of her life. I can only hope that if I am ever in that situation, then the world will be kind enough to let me close my own exit as beautifully and peacefully as my grandma did."
Your grandmother sounds like she was truly blessed. Being able to make that choice––and still have time with her family––no doubt meant the world to her.
"I don't know if I'd have the courage..."
"I just went through this with a good friend in Canada. He had glioblastoma and was given 3-6 months to live. Ultimately he lived for 15 months, but he wanted to be sure he could end his life when things got bad for him, so he made the necessary preparations. I'd long known he'd made these plans. I wasn't sure how I felt about it. But as I was caring for him for the last six weeks of his life I got to witness the process firsthand.
Long story a bit shorter: Towards the end, my friend could no longer walk or speak. He could understand everything you said to him, but he couldn't find the words to reply intelligently. In his frustration, he made it clear that he was ready. So we explicitly asked him if he was ready to die. He said yes.
The next day two nurses came to his home. They talked to him and confirmed that he wanted to end his life. So, while sitting in his favorite recliner, they put in an IV. His immediate family and I sat with him. The nurses administered medication that made him fall asleep. Then they administered a second medication that stopped his breathing. In less than 5 minutes he was gone.
I don't know if I'd have the courage to make the decision my friend did, but I didn't experience his suffering. Being present for him as he ended his life has convinced me that having the option to end your life on your own terms is the absolute right thing to do. There's no reason someone should have to continue to suffer when they know all they have to look forward to is more suffering. I'm very grateful that my friend had the option available to him. Had he been in my state in the U.S. that wouldn't have been possible. But it should be."
"She made the decision to have the procedure done..."
"My grandmother passed away last week with a medically assisted death.
She had cancer that had spread to her brain, and was given a few weeks to a few months to live. From what family members said, she was deteriorating fast.
She made the decision to have the procedure done as she wanted to end her time here with dignity. The appointment was made, doctors consulted, and paperwork drawn up. 10 days later two medical professionals came by her house where she was spending time with her children. It was done quickly and comfortably.
Nana left peacefully on her own accord, in the comfort of her own home, and while she was still more or less herself. It was very strange to have a time and a date looming, but it also allowed me to set aside that time to be alone and hold a small vigil of my own (I'm currently in another country, and couldn't get back)
She lived in Canada, where this service has recently been made more accessible, and I'm all for it. If it helped my Nana, it could help so many others."
It sounds like your Nana was able to have peace––and so do you.
"It should be a right..."
"It should be a right for every human to choose when terminal. We euthanize our pets but not our loved ones. We allow our loved ones to suffer miserably at the end of life. I was a hospice nurse and saw the suffering first hand. It is inhumane to allow that."
Why do we allow it for pets and not for humans? What makes an animal's life worth more than a human's? Shouldn't they both be held in equal regard?
"I have a degenerative brain disease..."
"I have a degenerative brain disease and would very much like to die with some dignity left, so I'm all for it."
No doubt. We're sorry to hear about your struggle.
"I longed for there to be a legal way..."
"We let people die in fear and pain, but not animals. The last 6 months of my mum's life were exactly how she didn't want to live - confused, incontinent, immobile. I longed for there to be a legal way to end her suffering. She made it very clear to me during her life that this was not the way she wanted to go. I'm an RN and should make it clear I've never assisted in ending anyone's life, but I've wanted to. Medically assisted death doesn't mean more death, just less suffering."
"As someone who has..."
"As someone who has stage 4 cancer, I am in favor of having the right to die gracefully."
"If it's good enough..."
"If it's good enough for my dog then it's good enough for me."
It's truly as simple as that. We'd be doing so many human beings a favor.
"If you're not legally allowed..."
"If you're not allowed to legally arrange the end of your own life, is it actually your own life?"
"It was such a blessing..."
"My grandpa had a medically assisted death in 2019. It was such a blessing to my family as we were able to say goodbye, and knew how much time we had left.
Also it was relief from great pain for him, and I'm so glad he was able to make that choice peacefully.
Will forever advocate for it."
It's truly shocking that euthanasia is illegal in many countries––and that it can even carry a jail sentence. It is a complicated issue that polarizes many people from different walks of life.
Where do you stand on this issue? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!
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Privilege is discussed quite a bit these days, and for good reason. So many people are able to live life longer, more peacefully, and freely than others thanks to factors they had no control over.
And yet, there is an element of popularity among the privileges discussed. People acknowledge their race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, and citizenship status a lot.
That makes sense. Those are massively significant social realities that we need to grapple with constantly.
But there are some other privileges that we don't always think about. There are some things even more basic that not everybody gets to enjoy.
Observing them can make us all feel a bit more grateful.
Redditor Mburns15 asked:
"What is something most people don't realize is a privilege?"
Many called attention to the fact that the physical ability to interact with a majority of public infrastructure isn't a sure thing.
Always Calling Ahead
"Spontaneity in your daily plans. If you're a wheelchair user that's virtually impossible."
"So few places have accessible restrooms, some public transport needs contact 24 hours in advance in order to accommodate you, the list goes on."
"I envy people who can just go with the flow."
"Being able-bodied. So many people are one accident away from being unemployed and don't realize that. Your job will ruin your body - be aware and fight it."
A Silent Struggle
"Not having chronic pain" -- Aggravating_Okra_00
"Having energy to do what you want with your life. Trying to explain to people how exhausting and draining chronic pain can be. Having to explain the concept of energy budgets to people - sure I could come out and do $funthing with you, but then I wouldn't have the energy to cook and clean the house and would be useless at work tomorrow." -- Fraerie
Others chose to point out the very basic necessities that are far from ensured across the world.
To Be Comfortable
"Feeling safe in your own home. Not worrying about rats, mice, roaches, bed bugs, bricks being thrown through windows, violence outside, break ins."
"Privacy. I don't mean digital privacy, I mean a room with solid walls and a door that closes. Lots of people don't have that."
"Having access to water and a sewage system. Also the abundance of food in western super markets is quite frankly insane. Every day I try and spend a moment to reflect on how lucky I am."
"Sanitary products for women! It's different in different parts of the world + economic backgrounds"
And finally, a few people from countries around the world discussed the unique, intense struggles of living in a place that isn't embedded in the affluence of the Western world.
"Going about your daily life without seriously worrying about your physical safety. Sleeping at night without worrying about whether a bomb is going to come through your roof."
Not a Given
"Having the ability to express an opinion. Free speech is very censored in a lot of the world." -- BananaLCG
"Criticizing your own government." -- ipf000
The Ability to Think About Other Things
"Living in a good country, not having to spend your youth worrying about how to immigrate to good countries."
But before you think of this list as a big long guilt trip, imagine a more positive spin on this. There are so many things to feel grateful for, even when it seems like everything is working against you.
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