By Hamda AlHashimi (@Hamda_AlHashemi)
William Ward once said, “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” If we think about it, we will see how little is the attention we direct toward being grateful. We take things for granted; the love of our mother, the support of our friends, the chores done by the servants, and some things as simple as a stranger holding the door for us. These two simple words, “thank you”, can brighten someone’s day in ways we cannot imagine.
British visual artist, Penelope Oakley, painted a magnificent elaborate art piece titled “Gratia”, which is Latin for “Gratitude”. The piece is a collage done by using small, detailed, abstract patterns to create an overall form of a woman. As soon as I saw the work I thought to myself: being grateful for all the small things, that is what matters most.
Oakley attached a beautiful quote to her art piece that relates a lot to what the piece is trying to say. The quote by Marcus Tullius Cicero says that gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but also the parent of all others. And there is so much truth behind those words. When we show people how appreciative we are to everything they do to as, our relationships grow stronger and deeper.
Sometimes, without realizing it, all these small things are what make us who we are, or shape our mood. A kind word from someone can make our day. A helping hand can help us succeed. No matter how small things might seem to us, they play in fact a huge role in our daily lives.
Have we ever taken a moment to thank our mother for all the housework she has been doing? Have we ever told our father that we appreciate all his hard work? Have we ever told our brother or sister how nice it is of them to stand our mood swings? I am sure most answers will be no. Such a simple thing to do, just couple of words, yet we take everything for granted that we fail to realize how essential it is.
I have been enjoying some light reading by Dr. Richard Carlson called, “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff”. And in one of the chapters he said that we should take five minutes every morning and send someone a thank you message, email, or letter. So I tried that, and the effect is beyond what I had in mind. Who knew that few words could bring down tears? And who knew that those tears could create a deeper form of love and care?
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.” Yes we should be that grateful. Positive energy travels among us through words, moods, actions, scents, and even hidden emotions. And words are a very powerful weapon that can change our lives and bring us happiness. And the cost is…? Absolutely Nothing. Take a moment right now, choose a random person and thank them for anything, even if it is for them being themselves. See how it makes you feel, and then decide how important it is to be grateful.
Hamda AlHashemi is a 20 something year old interior design graduate, and an SZHP employee. She appreciates art, food, psychology and culture. For her, Arabic calligraphy is music for the eyes; beautiful and calming. She thrives to become an entrepreneur of her own furniture line and aims to get her Phd on the long run. Hamda’s articles revolve around how our psychological thoughts influence our actions, and how to use them to our advantage.