In the busy age of consumption, we really need a second to stop and think of what we have rather than what we wish to have.
We live in an age of mass production and consumption, where we are driven by our wants and desires. We often find ourselves always wanting something, and as soon as we get that, we want even more.
Most times, we tend to forget what we have at hand because we are too busy thinking about what we could have. This does not only apply to consumer items, but also to relationships, careers, and life experiences. Not to say aspiring for more is bad, but one should rather be grateful for what they do have. Being grateful gives you the power to take control of your own emotions rather than succumbing to events or circumstances. While we go through life thriving for more we get blindsided by a whim of negativity because we feel sad that there are things in this life that we can’t have. This is something I’m sure you hear quite often but how much of it do you really practice?
So what are simple ways a person can practice gratitude? Well for one, we have to be careful about what we think and what we say. We shouldn’t focus on ideas of loss or deprivation but rather on concepts of giving. Your attention should be on your thought process because that’s what creates the product (words in this case). The way you think affects what you say, and in turn, you need to tune your mind in a way to focus on appreciation rather than depreciation. You need to realize above all else that there is good in this world, most of which we have received throughout the years. Maybe not in the present moment but at some point in the past. With that, you appreciate the things you had and you can work towards appreciating what you currently have.
Practicing gratitude makes you forgive easier, it is emotionally liberating, and it strengthens relationships. So I suggest that today you write a thank you letter to someone dear to you, someone whose support and love you’ve often taken for granted. Thank them for being who they are, thank them for listening to you, above all thank them for being an important part of your life.
It wasn’t until the past few days that I personally took that idea into account. I have always been thankful for what I have, but being grateful, truly grateful is a different feeling. Being thankful means you thank someone else for what you have but being grateful means that you are internally happy with what you have, no matter who or what made it happen.
Be grateful for the simple things in life. Be thankful for your safe & warm home, your good friends, your ability to wake up in the morning, your ability to walk on your feet, your siblings, your job, your sense of belonging, your ability to hear music, everything, and anything. Only then will you see the world in a different light.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Shamma holds a Masters Degree in Human Rights and a BA in International Affairs. She currently works as an instructor at Zayed University. Having volunteered with people with disability for more than 10 years, she devotes her career and free time to work closely with vulnerable groups to create a visible impact in society. Having interests in philosophy, human psyche, sociology, and literature her column “12 Lessons” will focus on issues that we face as a part of the trial and error process that is life.
Latest posts by Shamma Aldabal (@ShammaMD) (see all)
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