What are you grateful for?

One of the many questions we’re asked, not just throughout grade school, but throughout life. During our early years of school, when asked, most of us would scribble a few words off the top of our heads so everyone could move on to the next lesson or activity. Words like “family”, “friends”, “food”, which are great answers, ones that make the teacher happy, and we know this. Others’ aren’t so generic, and sometimes, you might even see “nothing”, most likely from the little girl or boy who’s pouting at the back of the classroom. But to be fair, they did have to sit inside during recess.

My point is, do you think we meant what we wrote? I wrote the first things that popped into my head and didn’t think too much about it, and I’m sure you’d agree that you did the same. I wasn’t ashamed, because I was six years old. But what’s evident is, as we grow, we adopt a new meaning of the word. As we experience more of life, we think more of its meaning. We stop for a second and really ask ourselves, “What am I grateful for?”

Anything from reading a newspaper, watching the news, or taking a walk through your city or town can open your eyes, and help you answer the question. For example, whenever I’ve been in a big city, like San Francisco, I almost immediately see how bad some people have it. You can walk down any busy street and you’re guaranteed to see at least someone digging through the trash, pulling a cart full of, well, anything they can find that might be worth of some value. You see some alone, some in wheelchairs, some with a pet, some with children to feed. You feel bad, maybe you give them a few bucks, or maybe you look ahead and keep walking.

At the end of the day, that’s just it. You feel bad, you want to help, but in reality, if you tried to help each person holding a sign, you’d be broke. It’s a harsh reality, one that they face every day. Not having food, water, clean clothes, a roof over their head.

That right there is what I think about when I ask myself the question.

That, and so much more. That’s why I’ve got no problem answering it, and I know I never will. I don’t know what situation you’re in right now, I don’t know anything about you. But I’m encouraging you to open your eyes to everything you might be taking for granted, and really learn to appreciate what you have, because I can guarantee you that if you’re grateful for what you have, you can face any challenge, any obstacle, with a smile on your face.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey

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8 thoughts on “What are you grateful for?

  1. When my daughters were growing I tried to help them understand the fundemental difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’. When one understands that we actually need very little to survive but that there are so many who do not have those basic needs met in their lives one begins to be a little less insular and selfish and maybe a little more grateful. Add in a little help for those that do need by perhaps forgoing the things one wants occasionally and actually life begins to take on a bigger meaning. Many thanks for following my blog. I hereby return the honour and look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to hear you’re teaching your kids these values, that’s exactly what my parents have taught me. There’s a big difference between wanting and needing, I agree. Thanks for the support 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It really is the little things that mean the most. Sadly, society today muddles this reality. Material possessions, achievements, all of that creates a false sense of appreciation. That’s what I love about Buddha’s teachings–he taught people to be happy with less and to let go of ego and desire. That is where true happiness resides, in my humble opinion. Loved your post. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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