Freedom Blog

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Are You Thankful?

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Are You Thankful?

Written by Steven Griggs |

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself”

“If the only prayer you ever say in your life is “thank you”, it will be enough.”
Meister Eckhart

Sometimes it's so easy to forget how fortunate we are. We live in such abundance and richness.

In America we live in a culture where most of us have everything we need. Food is abundant, housing is available, medical resources are available, even if through emergency room visits.

But there is a contradiction here.

Because of this abundance approximately 154.7 million Americans are overweight or obese. This is 49% of our total population.

Another contradiction is that in spite of such abundance there are still nearly 1.5 million people in America who live on less than $2.00 a day, there are also 1.35 million people who are homeless.

Almost half the world- over 3 billion people- live on less than $2.50 day. These same people have limited access to clean water and lack basic sanitation. This means they have to walk almost 1 1/2 miles round trip twice a day- once in the morning and again in the evening- to carry home their water. They have no indoor toilets so they are forced to “go” outside.

I quote these statistics to give us fortunate ones some contrast. Can you picture yourself living in a dirt floor hut, cooking over an open fire, walking 3 miles a day to carry water to drink and stay clean with?

So unless you are one of the 3 billion people living in poverty or you are homeless, how could you ever complain about your life?

It’s easy to be happy and confident when things in your life are going well. It’s when things change and your circumstances become more challenging that we find out who we really are.

So what is the answer?

If you are able to volunteer your time or talents to organizations involved in helping people then by all means do so.

Otherwise the only answer is for each of us is to do our best to be open and supportive to all we meet and help those we can.

I truly believe being thankful and showing gratitude for what you have is the only real way to reconnect and reach a deeper understanding of this journey we are all on.

When you are truly thankful, you feel gratitude. By feeling gratitude you open your heart and renew your connection to everything.

You, the individual, disappears.

Your needs and possessions fade into the distance.

You begin to remember why you are here.

You remember that every day is a gift, an opportunity to grow and, if possible, make a difference.

But sometimes it’s hard to be thankful, it’s hard to remember how good you have it.

We get caught up in our daily rhythm. With work requirements and family needs, time seems limited and nothing seems to get done. We feel pressure and frustration about the things we didn't accomplish that day. We dwell on uncompleted projects and unfulfilled plans. Then we collapse into bed each night only to start all over again in the morning.

Most of us find ourselves locked into a tick tock life we didn't think we signed up for.

But it happens.

“Then one day you find 10 years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun…..” (Pink Floyd)

It is so easy to drift along in our well planned lives….. 

So remember that what you have, where you live, what you drive is temporary. It doesn't define you, unless you want to be defined as a car, a house, a job or whatever.

It all belongs to the universe. You just get to use it while you’re here. When you leave someone else will get to use it. 

This New Year's eve resolve to not make resolutions.

Instead be thankful. In the morning when you walk out your door, breathe in the air, look up into the sky and with a big smile on your face and your arms outstretched, say “Thank you!”

And mean it.