Yesterday I spent the better part of the morning trying to clear a clogged drain. Took me longer than expected, because it was not the usual easy. During the process, as I waited for some ingredients to work their magic, I couldn’t help thinking how much of life we take for granted.
In this instance, water from the tap, the drain doing its job quietly, the flush working, electricity—and so on. You know what I mean.
I had to smile, somewhat ruefully, thinking how we generally don’t notice something unless it jumps up and grabs our attention. I also recalled how, when my son was little, he would pray, giving thanks for the fan, his sipper, his blankie, his towel – and so on and so forth. We taught him that. And I also make it a point to start my day with a prayer of gratitude.
But life and our routine—as we know it—is made up of so many components we take for granted. It is only when something doesn’t work or behave as it should that we pay it special attention.
Take parenting: when there is more than one child, the one that is well-behaved is often neglected and taken for granted, while the troublesome one gets all the attention. Shouldn’t the well-behaved child be appreciated more?
It is the same with the people we interact with. As long as they live up to our expectations, we are happy.
Point is, we just tend to stay focused on life’s problems—big or small.
Are we being grateful for everything—big and small—in our lives?
- For those seamlessly toiling appliances (not the one that broke down)
- For events that go without hitch (not the one with the problem)
- For projects that work out well (not the one with the obstacles)
- The meal that’s a success (not the one where the ice-cream melted)
- The refrigerator that keeps our stuff fresh (not the power cut)
- The bed that takes our weight each night
- The paved road (not the broken tile)
This is one of the most crucial skills to learn and practice in life: gratitude, making it a part of our core.
When we recognize even the smallest things as worthy of our gratitude, it is easy to see how blessed we really are.
Points to ponder:
Why are we more grateful for things than for others?
When you think of the last few times you felt grateful, was it after a stressful event, or was it a natural feeling of gratitude for what you have and what you experience?
If it was a stressful event, can you think of two ways to actively practice gratitude?
Can you see the sacredness in the things you take for granted?
What if you noticed the good in every thing and situation?
Perhaps life would be filled with gratitude—and you’ll feel your soul bloom with happiness.
#WednesdayWisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, and humor..