Be grateful, my baby. Seems easy enough.
We all know folks who look at their life with dissatisfaction. I’m not talking about the kind of emotion that is healthy and propels us onward to bigger and better things in our life, I’m talking about the kind of dissatisfaction that weighs on a person and makes them feel less than.
They have that; I have this. They have that; I want that…why don’t I have that…why do they have that…aren’t I good enough to have that? That kind of soul-sucking dissatisfaction.
As our mommas told us: You can always find someone with more than you and you can always find someone with less than you. My addition to what momma told us is that no matter what you have or don’t have in this life, it doesn’t define who you are or who you can become.
Be grateful in the place you find yourself and you’ll never feel less than.
Are you hungry because there isn’t enough to eat? No? Be grateful. So many are hungry by no fault of their own.
Do you have a warm bed to sleep in at night? Yes? Be grateful. So many sleep where they are unsafe.
Do you have a roof over your head? Yes? Be grateful, no matter how humble your home. Many wish for a small place to call their own.
Do you have the opportunity for an education? Yes? Be grateful. Many a soul has been denied such a fundamental right.
Do you have a voice and know how to use it? Yes? Be grateful. Many are silent because they live in fear.
Do you have the means to provide for yourself? Yes? Be grateful. Many must resort to the kindness of others for basic needs.
Do you have laughter? Yes? Be grateful. It will always lighten your way.
Do you have a family who loves you? Yes? You have everything, my sweet.
Do we choose gratitude or do we too easily discard what we can be thankful for because it is small and seemingly inconsequential? I say whatever brings us peace in this world, and humble appreciation is a fine place to begin, is worth much more than anything tangible we can imagine. Being grateful, having a grateful spirit, is not an easy thing to do. One must cultivate that spirit, so start with the simple stuff.
To be grateful is to recognize goodness no matter your circumstance at any given moment, even if hellfire is raining down on you. It is a key part of a solid foundation against the whipping winds of this world. You can be at the bottom of the crag-riddled mountain, preparing to climb without harness or help, feeling small and overpowered, yet the grace of gratitude will provide strength for the journey.
Life is gonna come at you quick, Sweet E. We all face the choice of happiness or discontent.
Be grateful, my baby.