Photographer based in the Netherlands


Below you can read about thoughts I’ve had or things I experienced in my life.


With Christmas being right around the corner and doing a speech today during English class, I want to talk a little about appreciation. And how it lacks in our society.

Appreciation is something everybody has, but some show it more than others. It's often those who have less that appreciate more.

There is of course a certain logical reason to it. If you always get that one thing you want immediately, you slowly become impatient with lots of other things. But a person that doesn't have that ability and works very hard to earn enough money to finally get it after months of work, they appreciate it more, because they had to keep making money to eventually get that one thing.

I'm not saying that those who have lots of money don't know the value of money. I'm just saying they know it a little less. As do I, for example. I grew up to have everything my heart desired and let me tell you now: it is not a really good way to raise your kids. That is what my mother said later on as I got older. A few years ago, I didn't know what appreciation meant and how to be grateful for things. I got mad when I didn't get what I wanted immediately, I have to say I'm not very proud of the younger me. But just like you, I grew up, became older and learned the lessons in life. By making many mistakes and saying the wrong thing. So raise your kids right, because you might regret it later on in life. Learn them the rules of life, but also give them plenty of advice and help them in any way you can, because they will most likely move out in a couple years.

"But you're still a kid, why on earth would I listen to your advice?"

Yes, it's true. I'm still a kid, but I'm telling you about my experiences and how I saw what happened when my parents raised me that way that is mentioned above. From seeing the regret my parents had and still have a little, I can tell you that it isn't the way to raising your kids. Sure, you want to let your kids have everything, but those who grow up with less, they learn the more important lessons of life, faster than I did.

An example that is often told: A homeless man would be much more grateful when you give them one dollar, because that's all they can live on. Homeless people often have the fear of not knowing whether they are going to live through the night. That's a fact. Yes, there may be a few homeless out there that spend that money on other things than food or other supplies, but there are enough that really need the money to live through the night. So try to give that one dollar to the one that really needs it.

Around Christmas I always feel a little more like I should give back. I evaluate my life. All the things I own, the gorgeous roof above my head, the warm bed, the warm clothes. I always appreciate everything a little more around the holidays. Especially, this year. I have been focusing a bit on becoming a minimalist and learning to let go of things. But also this year is the first year, I'm donating things to a nearby shop. I mean who wouldn't be happy by giving away things and giving back to the community?

Once again, I'm not saying that people who have quite some money are not grateful at all, that would be a huge insult to many people out there. I'm saying: Be a little more grateful everyday, because there aren't many people that have what you have. Learn to be happy with what you already have and appreciate how much that actually is, because just like any other person, it can be taken away from you at any given moment.

So tell me, what are you grateful for this holiday season?