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Attitude of gratitude

I remember, as a child, being reminded that I should be grateful for all the good things I had in my life. As children, we were never allowed to gripe and crib about the food that was placed before us, whether it was karela or tori. We were taught to say "thank you God for the food" because mother would remind us that there are millions of children around the world who are going to bed hungry.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2011 23:37 IST

I remember, as a child, being reminded that I should be grateful for all the good things I had in my life. As children, we were never allowed to gripe and crib about the food that was placed before us, whether it was karela or tori. We were taught to say "thank you God for the food" because mother would remind us that there are millions of children around the world who are going to bed hungry.

If something was denied to me as a child, I was told to go to my room and make a list of all the things I had which the other children did not. This was mother's way of teaching us to live with an "attitude of gratitude".

Today I see this attitude in a whole different perspective. I feel that it is important for us to be thankful for what we have, not only from a spiritual point of view, but also from a scientific point of view. When we count our blessings, our mind gravitates towards the positive, we then start concentrating on what we have and realise how fortunate we are.

In life, we find ourselves at a stage or state that we think about the most. If we think we are fortunate, that is the fortunate positive state we lie in. Look around you, the people who you think are leading fulfilling and meaningful lives are people who are consistently in a happy and grateful state. However, this is not a natural state. It is a "cultivated" state because we are socially conditioned to look at the negative side of life.

Living with an attitude of gratitude will help us focus on what we have as we will then see ourselves living this beautiful and richer part of life. If this doesn't make you grateful then the fool proof way of feeling grateful at any time of the day, anywhere, in any situation, is to remind yourselves of this pearl of wisdom, "If you are miserable about all the things you want but haven't got, think about all the things you don't want and haven't got!