When contemplating life and its meaning, its often that words like “gratitude” and “thankfulness” are mentioned among other generic terms and phrases. If a stranger came to you asking what some of the most important values and/or ideas are that someone should have, these words would most likely make it onto your list. But what does it mean to be grateful? Is it a simple acknowledgement of certain positive aspects of one’s life? Would it be what some call “looking at the glass half full instead of half empty”? Depending on an individual’s experience in this world, these terms will often have different meaning or significance based on that person’s perspective.
It as well-known fact that we as human beings are all delt different hands of fate. Some are born into financially stable, loving, and wholesome environments while others are brought up without any semblance of these things. There are those who experience deeply traumatic events (maybe several) throughout their early stages of life while some people don’t have their first true run in with grief/loss until well into their adult years. It would seem relatively clear that life is not fair, and that premise alone is enough to cause countless people to view this life through a cynical and pessimistic lens. Yet, despite whatever darkness we may encounter throughout our lives, gratitude is always a wiling hand ready for us to reach out and grab onto. Recognizing that everything that happens in our lives, good or bad (nothing is truly good or bad, simply relative), can be seen as an opportunity for growth is one of the most empowering moments a person can experience. While it may not be easy for son who lost his mother as a child or the wife whose husband abandoned their family to see things from this perspective in the moment, it is realizing one’s own ability to choose peace and thankfulness for ALL that life brings that allows us to awaken and enjoy this life more fully. It is of the utmost importance that humans learn to live their lives as presently as possible, for too often we are guilty of either dwelling on the past or anxiously awaiting the future. You may not have any control over the cards that life dealt you, it may have even given you shitty hand, but what we all always have the choice to do is to take each moment as it comes and make the most of the lives we’ve been gifted.