ABCs of Gratitude

There is so much around us that often goes unnoticed in our daily lives. With our frequent rush, appointments, timelines, filled commitments, studies and work, how will we be able to stop and witness our Accomplishments, Blessings and Creations?

These A,B,C’s can teach us the lesson of gratitude, if we study it’s ways. Let’s start our first lesson with our Accomplishments. What things in our lives have we truly accomplished? They can be seemingly minuscule things which remain overlooked or colossal things, to us, which shaped our very character and are responsible for the lives we lead now.

If we are capable of reading this blog right now, we have accomplished a task so significant, that it was once only reserved for a select few who held tremendous power – We can read. This accomplishment alone is the foundation for all our current forms of communication in our daily lives. With reading comes the need to write, listen, speak and understand certain sounds, visual formations, structural patterns, cultural varieties and paired physical gestures, in the delivery of communication!
With all of this we learn and advance ourselves, yet often we forget that we have mastered such an incredible skill and was disciplined enough to be committed to this undertaking.
Now even this massive accomplishment may only be categorized on a micro scale, in relation to our accomplishments. Let us zoom out and look at something larger.

Since we were able to master the ability to read and advanced it to communicate, where has that taken us? For many of us, we have used this skill to educate ourselves and even go to school. How difficult a task it would be to earn a high school diploma, a college or university degree, without being able to read and communicate. How would we learn, grow and master what we set out to accomplish? Simple, we would not. We would remain in the shadow of obscurity because we did not commit ourselves to accomplish our objective.

What about our relationships? Has communication enabled us to to build friendships and romantic bonds? Yes. If we did not know how to read, write, listen and speak, how would we ever know all the things we have in common with our friends and romantic partners? How would we make each other laugh and smile from our witty jokes or expand their states of consciousness with our perceptions and understanding of our universe? How would we appreciate the sounds of our friends and lovers voices, when we are separated by great distances? How would we, in our modern reality, text a location to our favorite cafe to meet with our friends? How would we create poetry or stories of adventure to share with those we care about deeply? We would not! We would have no relationships of this nature. Recall your Accomplishments and know why you are grateful.

Let us move onto our second lesson, our Blessings. First and foremost, if you woke up this morning, then you are blessed beyond measure! All that you have ever accomplished, thought and experienced, was preceded by you waking up! This is by far no small blessing and expressing gratitude for this alone, can complete this lesson. But we will venture further.

Many of us are blessed with the gifts of seeing, hearing, speaking, tasting, touching, smelling, thinking and walking. Many of us are blessed in abundance with this entire combination and more, while some are blessed with one or few. The simple act of walking to your mailbox, is a gift that many of us have never opened. The opportunity to have dishes to wash, is an opportunity many of us are rarely presented with. The activity of applying cream to our dry hands, is an activity that many of us will never engage in. The breathtaking sights of the stars decorating the night sky, is a panorama many of us will never witness.
Yet, many more among us state that; our mailbox is too far and filled with junk. There are too many dishes in the sink, I hate having to wash all of this. My hands are too dry because of the cold, I have to constantly keep putting on cream, it’s so annoying. Why should I go out of my way look at the stars outside, I can do more on my computer.

Being able to walk with our own free will, muscles, nerves, bones and complex motor skills, to any destination is a blessing. Having mail to open means there are people who want to interact with us, who we are important to. Having dishes to wash means we had food to eat. Having food and being able to afford, prepare, taste, smell, chew, digest and derive nutrients and energy from, is a blessing. Having someone else create an organic, nutrient rich meal for us, enhances this blessing. Having hands to cream, that function, feel, aid us and help others, is a blessing. Having eyes to see the heavens and admire the bounty of the cosmos, is a blessing. So why do we find reasons to complain? Any reasons to neglect or deem our blessings less than worthy, are wasteful and benefit no one.

Some among us have used their blessings to leave a lasting impact on our world. Those  who have shaped our world throughout history, were first blessed to wake up to another day of life. With this realization, they witnessed their other gifts and begun to create. This brings us to our third lesson, Creations.

This lesson differs from the first two because it is not one that calls us to pause and reflect on our lives. This lessons calls on us to switch from a passive state to an active one, for our creations do not arise from inactivity.To transition into this active state we must first be challenged by a question, which has the potential to guide us to our masterwork.

What is it that you will leave with the world when you are gone?

Have you created something unique, that could only come from you, that exists because of you, that will inspire those who come after you, that has helped others around you, that you will be remember for, that will transcend any current trends, that will make others smile, that has been inside you all along?
If we lack gratitude for what we have Accomplished, what we have been Blessed with and what we have Created, we may never notice our purpose and remain passive in an active world, where our greatest gifts remain dormant inside us, never to be realized.

Have you begun to create or will you be left out of the history books?

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
– John F. Kennedy


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