The Importance of Gratitude

Right now. Today. 2016. We are living in the best time it has ever been. We are not cold and shivering like many of our ancestors who had to sleep outside due to lack of shelter. No, no, no, on the contrary, we sleep under a roof, protected from earth’s elements, where our bodies are neither frigid from the winter cold nor blistering from the hot summer sun. We have central heating systems now and ACs to keep the temperature optimal. We also sleep very comfortably, resting on soft beds to sleep on while under a warm blanket in the safety of our homes. We don’t have to worry about when will we eat next. Just that fact is enough to make you drop to your knees in absolute gratitude. For most of humanity’s history, people were malnourished and starving, living in squalor and barely getting by. Not only is this our lot no longer, we have reached the opposite extreme. For not only do we have abundance, we have variety. We have foods from all over the world. Spices from India, cheese from France, chocolate from Switzerland, and anything you dream of. The food of kings of ages past would not even be acceptable for a hobo nowadays.

What about education, literacy? The fact that you can read this is by itself is a wonder. By being literate, you now have access to the trove of all human knowledge, passed down in the form of books written across centuries. The totality of a wise man’s life and all the lessons he’s gathered, available for free now thanks to the Internet. You can learn anything you want and advance yourself. All of humanity’s best and their knowledge are available to you in an unprecedented manner.

Yet people still complain. They nag and they bicker. What do they have to complain about? All of our basic needs are met. We have food (and an abundant variety of it at that), we have shelter, warmth, and protection from the elements. Not only that, but nearly everyone also has the prerequisites of thriving, namely literacy and availability of knowledge. Cut it out. Stop complaining. You have nothing to be irate about. Stop looking at what others have and what you are lacking, rather look at what you do have, for in what you possess are the tools for a happy and successful life.

Make it habit to be grateful everyday. Write down everything you are grateful to have and reflect on it. You’ll be happier because of it. Here is what I’m grateful for:

  • My height
  • My health
  • My lack of debilitating disabilities, such as lack of a limb, or loss of sight or hearing, or a genetic condition, whether it’s any sort of syndrome or depressingly painful disease
  • My intelligence. My ability to perform so well in school and learn new things. Having a mind very open to new concepts and all sorts of knowledge. My appetite for learning and knowledge
  • The fact that I’m attending a prestigious university in the United States
  • My having health insurance
  • My safety
  • The availability of so much knowledge in front of me in fom of books and on the internet, allowing me to learn so much and advance my lot endlessly.
  • My sleeping comfortably at night and lack of having to brave disasterous living conditions, such as living in a refugee camp or a war zone, or being a trafficked child/person, or being a child soldier or a child worker.
  • Not having to work demeaning jobs that I hate to survive and in fact being very much cared for by my family
  • A great family that loves me, provides for me, and would do anything for me.
  • and so much more…

Reflect on this daily.

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