This Monday morning I decided to write about something which I believe I need to improve on. You see, the human race in general is fascinating particularly when it comes to the concept of gratitude.
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We have heard about “the secret” of life being held in an attitude of gratitude and the law of attraction making our lives a manifestation of what we envision and consciously or subconsciously attract. There is much irony in the fact that we are told to be grateful for what we have through a selfish motive of gaining what we want in return.
Leaving alone the ironic factor in this equation my focus is on the concept of gratitude itself. It is so very common for me to take things I have for granted. My mother will always be there when I need advice. My father can drop me off to a said destination if needed. My brother can – well, I can do my brothers chores! But do I realise the value of these simple yet profound bounties? It is our nature I believe to get bored very easily. This then leads us to glaze over the things that are so common around us untill we do not notice anything special happening, despite there being something of this nature in our environment.
For instance, let us take the concept of breathing. Air molecules travel through our windpipe down into our lungs where tiny sacs called alveoli are responsible for transmitting oxygen into the blood which is pumped throughout our body. The same sacs are responsible for extinguishing the carbon dioxide picked up along the way and this process carries on and on forever as long as we are alive. Do we say, thank you alveoli? No. But someone with lung cancer would crave such healthy responses from their body.
Why do we need to feel the lack of something, in order to appreciate what we have? Truly, there is no lack of irony in the universe. This thought dawned upon me while speaking to a woman who was telling me about her sister’s daughter, who is getting married soon. The groom is a wealthy man with a stable job and the couple has been together for a long time now. But she seemed just so bitter about sharing her nieces joyous news with me. Her own daughter is a degree holder with a scientific background and she is starting a new job soon. I believe the comparison factor taints our thankfulness. Had she perhaps not been comparing what she would’ve liked for her daughter with what her niece was experiencing, then there would be no cause for bitterness.
It is a large pill for anyone to swallow. To think that I am constantly unappreciative of the things I have untill I see someone who doesn’t have what I do, makes me question my philosophy on life. I have realised the joy and freedom which saying thank you can bring. When you begin to count your blessings (not literally!) then a feeling of euphoria actually developes within your heart. This can then lead to a more positive attitude and state of mind which does lead to better things and more fulfilling experiences.
It is the start of a brand new week. With that, I do promise to say a thank you every time I receive something from the universe. Not because I want to gain something in return. But because I simply am grateful.