Have you ever had a moment when you open your mouth, and, without even thinking about it, something extremely intelligent escapes?

 In this scenario, there are a few people you can be.  You can be the person saying the intelligent thing, in which case, congratulations on filling the silence with your words. You can also be other people in this situation, such as the person who is either engaged directly in conversation with the suddenly-intelligent-speaker, or the person who is in the room, not at all involved in the conversation, and simply eavesdropping.

I’m not talking about eavesdropping as I’m sure many of you are imagining it; spies in long black trench coats, with oversized black sunglasses, using special listening apparatuses to overhear a villains plan to take over the world. I’m just talking about overhearing an average, everyday conversation about nothing in particular.

A few days ago, I found myself in that position. I wasn’t purposely eavesdropping, but the conversation was being said extremely loudly, so it was difficult to not overhear it.

I was in music class, and we were watching an excerpt from an opera. The scene was a wedding, and it showed peasants rejoicing in happiness.

One student remarked, “Why are the poor people always so happy, and the rich people aren’t?!”

This was one instance when I was a bystander to someone spewing intelligence. And what was funny about it was that I don’t even think the person who made that statement realized what they had said. They simply said what was on their mind, and what was on their mind happened to be a very insightful thought that got me thinking.

From movies and books to real life, it does seem as though less fortunate people are more content and at peace with themselves than more fortunate people. Why is this?

It is the opposite of what one would expect. People who have money and would be considered “average” or above average often get so caught up in everything they don’t have, rather than what they do. They focus on the things that they want (like new technology or an expensive vacation), rather than the things they need (like food and shelter), because they already have what they need.

While that’s fine, it’s important to not take the things we have for granted. It’s easy to turn on a tap and grab a drink of water, and completely forget that in some parts of the world, people have to walk miles for water that is barely drinkable. We can open our fridge and have a wide variety of food to eat; or, we can drive to the grocery store and have an even wider variety, while some people in the world have to grow their own food, and barely have enough of it.

Those people, who aren’t as fortunate as us, understand that we don’t need all these fancy gadgets and expensive objects to live. They value the things we often overlook; family, friends, happiness, love and gratitude being a few of the most prominent ones.

Perhaps reading this has given you an idea of something you can do to help others, or yourself. Just because we are fortunate, does not mean we have to take everything for granted, and disregard other people’s problems. We can learn from the people who aren’t as lucky as us, and begin to be more thankful for what we do have.

If any of these topics come up in conversation, I hope that you seize the moment and say something intelligent. You never know – you might surprise other around you, as well as yourself.