Fostering an attitude of gratitude
When asked if my cup is half full or half empty, I say I am thankful to have a cup. Each day, each moment is worth thanksgiving. During a recent discussion with my son who is on the verge of entering his teenage years, I made him realise how fortunate he is. Vandana Arora writes.chandigarh Updated: Dec 14, 2013 09:38 IST
When asked if my cup is half full or half empty, I say I am thankful to have a cup. Each day, each moment is worth thanksgiving.
During a recent discussion with my son who is on the verge of entering his teenage years, I made him realise how fortunate he is. Like any other adolescent, he craved for gadgets and goodies that some of his friends flaunt and which I find frivolous. I made him enlist the things that he owns but his friends don't. Preaching imparts lessons to the preacher too.
Along with my son, I too basked in the dawn of realisation that God has been immensely kind to me. I sent my grudges to a sabbatical as I wanted to drench myself in the showers of His overwhelming benevolence.
John Milton appropriately quotes in Paradise Lost, "The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." Being thankful for what we have saves us the disgrace of hell.
We duck ourselves into the unfathomable oceans of misery by resorting to grumbling and cribbing over little pretexts; whereas, we have the ability to rejoice in the bliss by admiring and cherishing whatever we have.
Last week's dusk witnessed me returning from a clinic for my daughter's check-up. At one of the traffic signals, I saw a middle-aged woman pushing herself into an alarmingly overcrowded bus. The swelling darkness left that woman with no choice but to embark on the bus stuffed with men.
I could read her helplessness and hesitation and then compulsory decision to enter a vehicle where she was vulnerable enough but this compromise would make her reach home in time. I feel grateful for a dignified vehicle that I use.
It alarms me to see people sleeping on footpaths enduring and sometimes surrendering to the biting chill of winter. I feel thankful to the almighty for a graceful shelter. It stupefies me to see people begging for food. I feel grateful for the three course meal as well as choicest delicacies.
It's spine-chilling to see people partially clad in winters. I thank God for a variety of seasonal attires. It's shocking to see people with disabilities. I feel humbled to be able. Compassion flows out when inequality disintegrates society into fragments.
While writing this I arrive into a garden of awareness. I am able to contemplate on a plethora of things that urge me to express gratitude. The purpose of our life is met if along with appreciating our blessings, we share the same with our fellow human beings.
The highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them. I think we need not wait for some thanksgiving occasion rather we must be thankful for each breath we take. Each new dawn heralds hope for us. We must cultivate the habit of being grateful which will immerse us into the richness of our blessings.
I wish to sum up with a few words of gratitude that I learnt in school:
Thank you God for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything.