Anderson Cooper is a stand-out journalist. I admire his tenacity, and his hunger for story. He seeks out truth and doesn't rest until he finds the bottom line. I ran across a feature on his blog today, which describes lessons he learned while volunteering in impoverished West Africa. Midway through the article, this jumped out at me:
When confronted with hardship, gratitude is the best response. I travel a lot these days, and sometimes things go wrong. When I leave my iPod in the back of a Peruvian taxi (last week) or nearly get deported from Saudi Arabia (this week), I try to think back to the challenges faced by people who live on less than $1 a day. It’s all a matter of perspective — something I acquired many times over during those years in West Africa.It impressed me even more because I shared a recent conversation about how spoiled most of us are, yet how often we complain. Stand in any line long enough and you'll hear the complaining begin. Or, ask ten people how they're doing and watch how many mention their gripes first. I needed to read his post today, because Cooper describes West Africa in a way that makes me ashamed for the times I've looked at my glass half empty instead of half full.:
Travel writers struggle to describe the region without the clichéd contrasts," writes Anderson. "Hope, despair, joy, sorrow. That’s what you get when you combine a poverty-stricken area with some of the world’s happiest people.Read his entire post here.