Some of us have relatives who lived during the Great Depression and World War II. THEY know how to appreciate! The reason they do is because they went without, some of them almost starving to death! Going without taught them a certain toughness and how to be frugal and careful with their means. And, because they did have it so tough in their day, it's hard for them to watch today's generation waste things, treat things so lightly, and take everything for granted!
It seems that it's human nature to not realize how good we had something until it's taken away from us. We need to somehow learn to appreciate what we've got today-- treasure it, take care of it, don't waste it--or we might lose it and then wish we had it back again!
There have been people who've been pampered and spoiled-- living in the lap of luxury--who've been involved in plane crashes or some other calamity. They were placed in a live-or-die circumstance, and all that they had thought important in their lives paled in comparison to the harsh fact that they just needed to find a way to survive! Those that were rescued (most of them) were changed people, and they went through the rest of their lives with a greater appreciation for the simpler things, like food and water, which they had so taken for granted. The harrowing experience they had had taught them to be grateful, and careful, and more tolerant to those in less fortunate circumstances than they. Some of them actually went into careers where they devoted the rest of their lives to helping out the poor and the needy.
Basically what I'm saying is that we don't have to have a calamitous event happen to us to make us appreciate and take care of what we have!