Being Grateful

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Blog, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Being Grateful

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the simple definition of the word “Grateful” as “feeling or showing thanks; feeling or showing thanks to someone for some helpful act.”

Honestly, how often do you feel this or show this?

Society has become so wrapped up and consumed by daily lives and, quite honestly, themselves and / or their own personal interests, that we seldomly think about what we are each blessed with or smile and say thank you when someone does something nice. In a way, we have become selfish.

We’re always looking for something better or something else we could have and do. The latest fashions, the newest video game, the next big electronic, a nicer car, a fancier house, a bigger and better vacation, more money… the list never ends. We’re never content.

And we are always complaining, oftentimes about something that is ordinary. My alarm didn’t go off, traffic was bad, someone cut me off on the road, the milk ran out, my clothes are old, my car is old, my house isn’t as nice as theirs’, I’m overworked, my boss is crabby, my phone battery died, my hair appointment was canceled, my food order was wrong, gosh I need another vacation… the list goes on. We are never satisfied.

Society, we have become fixed on material things and a dreamy way of life; on things that really don’t matter because we can and will live without them, and on things we can’t control.

I know we all have a long list of things in our heads that we would like… love… to have. We think these things will just make us happier. The truth is, in the end they won’t. They only provide temporary happiness. We will only be happy until we get bored with it, until the next model comes out, until something bigger and better comes along, or until we set our sights on something else we just can’t live without. The happiness is materialistic.

We don’t really need a wardrobe of designer clothes; it’s not going to make us a better person or give us an advantage over someone else. Your life will go on without it. Having the newest video game is not going to change your life or get you places. Your life will go on without it. The next big electronic probably will not significantly improve your day. Your life will go on without it. Unless your current one keeps breaking down, a nicer car isn’t going to get you anywhere faster because the speed limit will still be the same no matter what you’re driving. Your life will go on without it. Your life will go on whether or not you have these things.

And in a dream world everything would go our way. We would like… love… to have a pleasant boss, easy commute to where we need to go, have someone else’s life and schedule revolve around us to meet our materialistic needs… ultimately have everyone else have a good day so our day isn’t ruined.

All of this is unrealistic and selfish. Everyone has a bad day at least once in awhile and, yes, it may affect you. It happens. Stuff happens. Complain all you want, but there’s nothing you can do about it.

It’s important that we stop and think about all of the things we do have and should be thankful for. Be glad that you have any clothes to cover and warm your body, no matter what brand they are or where you got them. Be glad that you have any games, toys, books and electronics to entertain you and stimulate you and keep you from being bored. Be glad that you have any TV to watch your favorite show or the big game on, or an oven to cook meals with. Be glad that you have a car that will get you from point A to point B so you can get to work or school and run your errands without being out in the elements. Be glad that you have a roof over your head and four walls surroundings you to protect you and keep you warm and dry. Be glad that you have a job to make money to provide for yourself and your family.

Be glad that you have these things. Be grateful that you have these things. Because so many people don’t.

So many people would love to have what you have. The next time you complain about wanting or needing something, ask yourself if you really need it… how will it significantly change your life? What will you gain from it? Will you still love it or use it in a few weeks or a few months? Will your life go on, and not decline, if you don’t have it? And then remember there is someone else who has far less than you.

We all have our bad days and we feel like nothing is going right. We didn’t get what we wanted. Someone was rude to you. Someone said or did something, or maybe someone didn’t say or do something. No matter how bad your day has been, remember somewhere there is someone who has it far, far worse than you. Be grateful for everything you have.

There are times when it seems like we are missing out on something. Someone else is always getting a promotion, winning concert tickets, getting to go on trips. But if you think about it, we are all given opportunities that others only wish they had. Be grateful for the opportunities you have and do have.

Being grateful keeps us grounded in a fast-paced, materialistic, selfish society. It reminds us how simple life really can be. It reminds us of how easily it could all be taken away.

It’s also important that we remember to pay it forward no matter how much or how little we have. We all have been the recipient of a kind gesture from someone, directly or indirectly and knowingly or unknowingly. You could put a smile on someone’s face or could brighten their day, or maybe even change someone’s life by showing gratitude for what you have by paying it forward.

We all really do have a lot to be grateful for.

I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for. Share it on Twitter with #jeneration #imgrateful!

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