When I was little they made us pray in assembly for children less fortunate than ourselves. There were a few problems with this. Firstly, there was the whole act of prayer, which I pretended. Being a slightly terrified sort of rebel, I did all the actions of praying but just mouthed the words.
Secondly, it is beyond the imagination of most schoolchildren to imagine what it was like to be a starving child with no shoes, and only one old atlas in the school, which showed most countries pink. Biafra was just somewhere my mum threatened to send my uneaten dinner to.
Finally, there is the assumption that all Western children live a reassuringly Enid Blyton life. I could not actually think of anyone less fortunate than myself because life at home was violent and shit.
Anyway. No longer forced to mouth words with pretend piety, and no longer a child, I sort of do that prayer now. Well no I don't, but I try the next best thing which is "count my blessings."
I could have ended up like one of the leggy women in the neon windows down the road. (Unlikely but there might be a niche market). I could be that woman who cleans the stairs here who won't say hello to me. I could live in the squat over the road for lack of anywhere else.
I have a job where I don't have to take my knickers off and that is mainly indoors and I get fresh coffee and cuddles.
I have a roof over my head, a bed and internet and cooking and washing facilities. And the Pouss-Mouss round the corner.
I have my health. Everything works and although there is some fraying round the edges of my body, it's not in bad nick.
I have a wonderful, loving daughter and a wonderful, loving family.
So next time I started meeping and weeping about what I haven't got and won't have, I should shut the fucking fuck up.