Thanks to the freedoms guaranteed in our founding documents, we enjoy the one of the highest standards of living in the world, we boast the number one economy, and few of us ever have to worry about where our next meal is coming from.

Clearly, we have it great as Americans. To further illustrate how good we really have it, here is a list of 18 things happening in the world that will give you perspective on why we should be especially grateful to live in the land of opportunity and freedom.

1. In Ethiopia: Many women have to walk four to five miles per day to get something as simple as water for their families.

WaterAid Mali

2. In North Korea: Owning a Bible can get you executed or deported to a labor camp.

Owning a Bible death North Korea

3. In Pakistan: Since January of 2014, there have been 232 reported terrorist attacks.

Pakistan - Karachi - Bomb Blast

4. In Chad: Average life expectancy is only 49 years.

Chad life expectancy

5. In Egypt: Liking a Christianity-themed Facebook status is grounds for six years in prison.

facebook-user Egypt

6. In CubaA street sweeper makes an average of $19 USD per month, while a brain surgeon brings in $22 USD per month.

Cuba - Salary

7. In Saudi Arabia: It's the only country in the world where it is illegal for women to drive.


8. In Japan: Applying for gun ownership can warrant several background checks, a physical and even police interrogation.


9. In Sub-Sahara Africa: 32% of the population does not have access to adequate nutrition.

Sub Sahara Hunger

10. In Denmark: Baby naming laws require you to name your child from a government-approved list.


11. In Afghanistan: Child-forced marriages are commonplace.


12. In Sudan: Without any trial, the National Intelligence and Security Service can indefinitely detain anyone.


13. In Turkmenistan: It's obligatory for kindergartners to report back to the state, whatever they hear from their family members, going back three generations.


14. In Bahrain: Criticizing the head of state means prison time.


15. In Iran: Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are banned.


16. In Yemen: More than half of the children go to bed hungry each night because of surging food prices.


17. In Mauritania:  Over 4% of the 3.8 million population are slaves.

Malian Refugees Mbera Camp Mauritania

18. In Iraq: Radical Islamist Group ISIS is enforcing Sharia Law in each city it captures. ISIS's attacks have caused over 500,000 Iraqis to flee their homes.


And this list barely scratches the surface, when you consider how much we take for granted every day living in the United States.

It truly is a blessing to be an American.

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