Attitude of Gratitude
I recently had the experience of being suddenly plunged into darkness for a few hours only to find out later that a broken electricity cable had outed the electricity in the whole area. It was evening time in winter, so it was crucial to have some light and heat. It would also have been nice to have been able to make a cup of tea, cook dinner, and do some work on the internet, but all of that was out of the question! When I returned home to Kuwait expecting all to be ‘normal’ I found that we were out of running water because the pump had broken and the tank had not filled up. It was a double lesson from the ‘drama of life’ to remind me just how little we appreciate something – until it’s not there!
And another interesting thing was… that even though I knew that there was no water or light, I still went, out of habit, to ‘switch on’ the lights and ‘turn on’ the taps! It’s as though the mind was in denial refusing to accept the reality of the situation. It just shows how much we take for granted, and how much we assume that things will always be there at our disposal.
These incidents made me question: Am I appreciative about other things in my life? Having hot running water and electricity are important in our privileged modern day lives, but what about the ability to walk and move freely without pains and strains? Or to be able to see the world with our amazing eyesight? Or to be able to hear the world outside your window.
All of these things are so natural to us that we do not even think about them until they are not there. Only then do we lament.
When we begin to appreciate the beauty and richness of the treasures in front of and around us, then they take on a new and deeper meaning in our lives. There are so many aspects of nature to appreciate. If you can see some green grass and a few birds fluttering and singing, you are lucky – not everyone has this privilege. Hearing a running stream is also a privilege. Still better, if you are able to put your feet in it!
Changing the way we view the world around us, will change us, and change our world! It all begins with appreciating the little things in life.
There is a person who calls our meditation centre every day from prison. He has been an inmate for two years, and not a day has passed that he has not called for a chat and some positive thoughts. If I happen to answer his call it makes me so appreciative of the freedom of movement that I have. I admire so much that he stays happy and positive. He passes on these positive thoughts to others in the prison and creates motivational discussion forums! He is amazing! He has turned a negative situation into a positive one by just being grateful for what he has.
We can also be thankful for all the characters in our lives, the good, bad and the ugly. Each one is teaching us something. It’s not a question here of thanking each person or each thing… just to be able to cultivate a consciousness of gratitude is enough. It’s a state of mind, a way of being, a way of thinking. For example, even if you are held up in a queue you can be thankful for the opportunity to enjoy a few moments of tranquility.
Business Guru Steven Covey said, “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are…”
With so much apparently working against us in the world, and so much negativity in the news, we really need to make a list of all the good things that we have in our lives if we want to remain sane and happy. Once we are positive, we start sending positive energy out into the world, which then boomerangs back. The universe responds by saying; give it to this one, he/she will appreciate and value it!
It’s time… to cultivate an attitude of gratitude… and watch what the drama of the universe unfold!
© It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK