Growing up in a stereo-typical, middle-class family in a small Canadian town means, that it may at times, be difficult to understand and recognize, how truly fortunate you are.
Most of your classmates and friends will have shoes on their feet, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their head. Many of them will get to play soccer each summer and go skating in the winter. Some of them will go on family vacations, have cottages, and always have the newest technology.
Chances are, you'll probably want to have and do all of these things, and I hope that you are able to.
There's nothing wrong with having, and doing, and experiencing the best that life has to offer, as long as you are grateful and appreciate all that you have.
Unfortunately, there is no way you'll be able to appreciate what you have, unless you recognize all the things many people in our community, country, and world live without. You won't really appreciate going on a vacation until you learn that many people never get a few hundred kilometers past the town they were born in. You won't appreciate your new 'back-to-school' clothes, until you know of a family who is struggling just to buy new shoes.
One day, if you work hard in school and are able to save extra money, you may be able to travel and see first-hand what real poverty looks like; then you will really appreciate all that you have.
Until then you can get a glimpse of poverty, war, imprisonment, and all the other struggles I hope you never personally experience, through good literature, through reading the newspaper, and through watching the news. Hopefully this will help you empathize with people whether you know them or not. Hopefully this will help you appreciate all the gifts you were given due only to your place of birth. And above all, hopefully this will encourage you to help others in whatever way you are able.
Here are some great books I read growing up which truly altered the way I saw other people and the struggles that were forced upon them:
Here are some that I read as I got older...