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The Attitude of Gratitude

“NOT AGAIN…I don’t want cereal for breakfast.” Well yes, most of us kids regret having cereal on the breakfast menu. But, do you think it’s right for us to grumble about what we have? Just think of all those people who spend hours and hours to produce these cereals. It takes their blood, sweat and tears to harvest crops, transport them, refine them, pack them and finally sell them. That’s a whole lot of work for a single grain of cereal. It’s this whole chain that we ignore and just care about ourselves. Isn’t that selfishness?

The attitude of gratitude is another important aspect of life that a good human needs to have. It’s different from ‘saying’ thank you. It’s actually ‘feeling’ that thank you. But why exactly is this gratitude needed? How does it make us a good person? To answer these questions, the first thing you need to know is that to get something, you always have to lose something. It’s like a universal truth that probably has no logical explanation. And that’s reality. Let’s take a simple example of a car that runs on petrol. Every time the petrol burns, the engine runs and the car moves. So the petrol turns itself into ash and smoke to make you reach your destiny. Let's take another example of a dining table that's usually made of wood. Now where do we get the wood from? Trees. Trees are cut or actually killed for preparing furniture. So here, the tree gives its life either willingly or unwillingly just for making furniture. Ever thought about it?

There’s another story that I’d like to share. It’s related to the current pandemic situation. (But I don’t know if the story is true or made up. However, it’s practically applicable) So there was an old man who suffered from covid for about a month and needed the ventilator for breathing. Fortunately, his results finally came negative and the casher gave him the bill where the price for just using the ventilator was 10,314$ and 95 cents (i.e. 7,50,000 Rs.). That was a huge sum of money for which the retired dude needed to pay part by part. But on seeing the bill, this man’s eyes filled up and he cried. The casher said, “why are you crying sir? You can pay the bill part by part, on credit. Please don’t worry.” Then the old man smiled towards the casher and said, “No, that’s not why I’m crying. I was just thinking that if it takes about ten thousand and three fifteen dollars for breathing using the ventilator for a month, then what would the price for breathing the fresh air for all these years of my life be. I literally don’t know how to thank god for giving me oxygen to breathe out of charge.” Isn’t that true?

Now my question is, have you ever had that immense gratitude in you? Have you at least felt that gratefulness? You obviously can’t go to everyone and thank them personally. But as I mentioned before, you can feel that gratefulness. Think about all those people who are suffering. Some old parents stuck in old age homes, some people begging for food on the streets, some children who don’t even have a proper bed to sleep on. Now think about everything that you have. That bed, that chair, that ball, that book, that family, that love, that air, that life…everything, literally EVERYTHING has a story of sacrifice and hard work behind them. Have you ever been thankful for them?

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.”

– Lionel Hampton

First of all, thank God. Thank that source of incomparable power who brought you on Earth. Thank that omnipotent almighty who is giving you this air to breathe, and that too, free of charge. Secondly, thank your mom and dad. Honestly, your parents won’t care whether you are grateful to them or not. They will however play the most important part in your life. They’ll love you, nourish you and care for you from the core of their heart. They’ll never want anything from you in return. But when you thank them, their world will light up. After all, they’re the reason you are alive. They’re like a visible god on Earth. So never ever forget to thank them whole-heartedly. Then obviously, take every opportunity to thank your teachers, friends and everyone else who has kept you happy.

When you take a glimpse at the past and see what the world has given you, you can’t help but smile. It makes you happy. And emotions always travel in a chain. Your happiness will make others happy. Your gratefulness will make others grateful. This world will be a happier place to live in. And you will be a good human being. Open your eyes on a new day and look around yourself with gratitude and you’ll see that there will be nothing for you to grumble on.

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