Never take it for granted

The Kontent - Scott Nguyen
5 min readMay 12, 2023

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Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

This article is inspired by an experience at the grocery stores with one of my older relatives. He was a bit older so we had to go at navigate slower during one of the busier times of the day. When I shop, I know exactly what I want and can be in and out relatively quickly. But, we stopped and examine potential items that my uncle wanted to see. At the checkout line, all of the items I had faced up to scan the bar code were blocked by his items. I had develop a system with my partner where it would take us under a minute to scan and pay for everything. This time, I had to dig up all the items and scan it, reorganizing everything — it was a headache. The trip took over an hour.

What was suppose to be an easy and normal routine turned into a stressful experience. I quickly texted my partner after thanking them for making life so much easier when we go shopping. I never realize how good I had it until I didn’t. Which prompt the next question I asked myself, “what else don’t I notice until there’s a drop in quality?”.

Turns out, there’s a lot.

Things I take for granted

There are a few obvious ones: physiological and mental, that deserve a shout-out. I remembered walking on the beach during a beautiful sunset, feeling the sand between my toes as the waves washed back and forth. In that moment, I felt so lucky to be able to ambulate, have eye sight, and different senses that brought out the true beauty of the moment. Some people will only experience half of that, and some won’t even at all. I’m grateful for a normal functioning brain that allows me to do basic arithmetic, read, and think about things. Some people do not have that blessing.

Other general things include friends, family, transportation, electricity, cellphones, etc. You could make a giant list if you really thought about it. Which leads me to my first discovery of life — as bad as things can get, they could be worse.

I first saw this firsthand in high school when I was dealing with back problems during track and couldn’t go as fast as I want. The rehab was grueling and tedious. Often times, I couldn’t run as far and as fast as I wanted. That month and a half I spent in the rehab center felt like an eternity. There was another kid in there that I’ve seen often. He was there as much as I was, and we bonded over injuries. Sad thing was, he tore his ACL so he couldn’t play any sports for a whole year. Here I was complaining for a month and a half, and here’s someone that has it worse and not complaining about it.

I asked him how he felt about it, hoping to gain some sympathy because I was feeling down, and he just told me he’s disappointing, but excited that he’ll play sports again next year. This wasn’t the end, just a small setback to a bigger comeback.

This made me think that as long as you have the right mindset, nothing can bring you down. There was always something to fight for. Optimism and hope is something you always read about or saw in themes in movies.

There’s a reason why this always resonates with people — something to believe in and fight for has always been in our DNA.

This idea was great and all but my second discovery has made an equally profound impact on my life, and that’s not letting quality drop once you’ve discovered it.

Not sacrificing quality

People only notice a difference when they can feel a change or drop in the quality of something or someone. Sometimes, it’s abrupt and sudden so the ability to adapt either takes a while or doesn’t happen at all. It’s important to prepare yourself and take notice of certain levels of standards that you wouldn’t want to drop, but even then, it’s hard to know what you’ll miss if it drops in quality.

Most people don’t think about their bodies as important until your health declines. Then it’s health on earth just to do all of the require services to live a daily life. Just take people on dialysis: “Dialysis is a treatment to clean your blood when your kidneys are not able to. It helps your body remove waste and extra fluids in your blood. It does some of the work that your kidneys did when they were healthy. A healthy, working kidney can remove fluid and waste 24 hours a day.”

Via Cleveland Clinic

If you’re wondering how many times you have to go in the dialysis center to get treatment, it’s 3 times for a couple of hours, every single week. You have to schedule your life around this because if you miss even one appointment, you might risk potentially making things worse.

This doesn’t include the diet you have to be on, the payment for each session, the travel and traffic you’ll faced, and ultimately being dependent on this machine for the rest of your life. Not exactly ideal.

That’s why it’s worth spending money and time to improve your health because once the quality drops, and it will due to age and other factors, you want to be able to enjoy daily things without much interference.

It’s important to ask yourself, “what would make life miserable if the quality were to drop?”, then do whatever you need to not make it happen is a solid strategy.

Ever since I’ve experienced the benefits of a good pillow and bed, it’s one of the things I must splurge on in order to get a good night’s sleep. A good night of sleep affects so many aspects of my life so it’s worth its investment. I remembered clinging on to this rock hard pillow and receiving so much neck aches, but since I was saving money, it was justified. Only it was not. The neck aches affected my performance in sports and gave me daily headaches.

This isn’t a call to get wasteful either. I had a friend that would get new phones each year because his battery didn’t retain its charge as long as the new one. It wasn’t anything drastic, but he took the quality aspects of it too drastically.

For myself, I’ll only be going with my partner to shop from now on.

*Check out my last article on I love being humbled*

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The Kontent - Scott Nguyen

I write to get better at writing and to learn. IG: stayingkonnected Podcast: Staying Konnected