We all have a lot to be grateful for. Yes, we do. As a child, gratitude was our grandmother making shoe purchases for us instead of our mother, who always bought them either too big or too small. Gratitude was also being forgiven by our Grandmother for not detangling our hair after washing it. Before we were old enough to understand the concept of gratitude, there were many things we were grateful for. However, as we became older our perspective shifted many times, through our exposure and experiences. With time, we became a lot more demanding and a lot less grateful.
Gratitude for having a breath of fresh air, good health, a roof over our head, a bed to sleep on and supportive people around us on often seem like an entitlement. We become anxious about all the things we do not have, things we wish we had and those things we hope to achieve. We cultivate scores of ‘I wish’ and ‘I want’ thoughts that eventually make us frustrated, defeated and sadly, ungrateful. Many times, our blessings are exactly where we are but our perspective blinds us. We exhaust so much of our time on the things we perceive to lack that we are unable to cherish the things that we do have.
There’s a lesson my mother taught us in the story of the rubber slippers. It was an effective reminder to appreciate what was ours and everything she provided since there were others who did not have any, at all. As I said before, my mother always bought shoes for us that were either too big or too small. Regardless of how many times she recorded our sizes, she was sure to return home with the wrong one. For us, this was one moment we dreaded. We always ended up not being able to wear small shoes or tearfully refusing to wear big shoes.
Each time, we were given two options. First, to be grateful that we had shoes, wear our shoes ill-fittingly, wait until she could afford another (in our size) and stop the unnecessary crying. Our crying made our mother furious. The same mother who recorded the correct size but bought the wrong ones. The second option, which didn’t really seem like an option, was to give the shoes to someone who didn’t have any shoes to wear, not have shoes and wear rubber slippers to school. As you can imagine, we always eventually chose the first option.
While life will not always go according to our plans, there are many things we have to be grateful for especially if we only thought about losing all. Let us not waste our most valuable resource of time wishfully thinking of how much of a better position we may be in if the circumstances were any different. Instead, we can learn to cultivate new thoughts that surround gratitude. If there are things you want to change, change those things! Your life is yours, beautifully so. Today and always, there are many things that we can and should be grateful for.
What are you grateful for? Tell us in a comment below.
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