It doesn’t take more than a second these days to be grateful for the life we live. Just turn to any news channel at any time of the day and you will surely see something that triggers your gratitude. The feeling lasts for a second then we go about our day. This doesn’t mean that we don’t care, just that we can easily be consumed with our own lives, our own problems.
I am an American. I feel that we Americans, sometimes take for granted the freedoms we are afforded. In many places, wars are waging, people are starving and beaten down, people are dying and truly suffering. They do not have what we have, freedom. Due to the constant media coverage of tragedy, we’ve become almost immune to the suffering that we see around us. I don’t know about you, but it cuts deep through my soul to see the things that happen to my fellow brother and sister in the less fortunate areas of the planet. I feel helpless. It’s hard to know where to go, what to do, how to help.
What can you do? You can start with you. You alone have the power to change how you react in this world or how you don’t react. When we are grateful for the life that we live, we can find a place of compassion for others. Starting a gratitude practice is a good place to begin. There are many good books and websites to start you on the path. Oprah Winfrey is a fan of the gratitude journal. Click this link to read her take on it: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/oprahs-gratitude-journal-oprah-on-gratitude
The Dalai Lama wrote extensively on the subject in his book the Art of Happiness.
World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.
Dalai Lama XIV
You could also begin a meditation practice. Inner peace, as the Dalai Lama says is the manifestation of human compassion. Being compassionate to ones self is the seedling to compassion for others. Read this interview with Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama. It’s a quick short summary on the subject.
For me, I have recently found that in writing and sharing my thoughts with those of you who are reading my blog, is my own sort of gratitude journal. Sometimes in seeing how others reach for change within themselves, it presents an opportunity for the observer as well. We could all use some positivity from time to time. Helping myself is a way to help others. My words can help you. Your words, your actions can help too.
I end this by writing down the things I am grateful for. I’ll start with a few: My life, my family, my friends, my job, my pets, my freedom, my compassion, my voice, art, music, nature, the many voices and writings of people who are helping others. There are endless things to be grateful for if you just stop and think on it. I encourage you to do the same. Write it down, reflect upon it when things go awry. You’ll instantly be uplifted! By practicing gratitude you are better equipped to help others. We all need each other. We need to find a way to Peace.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on gratitude. ❤ RB