Reading This Is A Blessing: Why We Need To Learn To Be More Grateful
The other week, I was standing in an oddly long line. There was a tall man in front of me talking to himself, asking why the line was taking so long. There was a woman behind me talking to someone on her cell phone, complaining that her feet hurt.
I looked to my left and saw a short man who seemed to have some sort of deformity of the legs. He had braces on his calves and had to use crutch-like devices to get around.
There was a bench right next to him, but he was standing. Due to the abnormally large line, we started talking and it turned out that he was waiting for his friend to be seen.
As he stood next to me, the woman behind me repeatedly said to no one how she did not feel like waiting in the line. About 30 seconds later, she stormed off, proclaiming, "This is ridiculous."
The man and I looked at each other. He then spoke, saying he knew I could see his braces on his legs, and he really does struggle to stand and walk every day.
He said the way the woman just acted was the kind of thing that just gets to him; when someone who is so blessed takes it for granted. He told me he was uncomfortable being on his feet for so long, but he was honestly happy to be standing.
That's when it hit me: We all regard miracles as these huge gestures, things that are extraordinary. We want so much out of life to the point that we damn near expect it: fame or fortune or popularity or other stupid things that most people today consider to be miracles.
I am by no means a person who has extraordinary things happen to him. I've never won an award in my life and have never played a sport — nothing really.
I've always thought of my life to be average, but truthfully, it's so much more than that. We look for vast and relatively unimportant things to make us happy or affect us in miraculous ways.
But, consider the small miracles in your life. If you're someone who has his or her health, family and at least one thing that makes you happy, I'd say you have some of the most extraordinary miracles life can offer. It really is the little things that matter, and those things are the ones we most take for granted.
For example, in a recent public relations class, my professor told us to consider that when flights make it from California to New York, it's never news.
We only hear about flights when there is tragedy; we take the good for granted. Every day, thousands of flights successfully ground, and we've come to expect it rather than be grateful for it.
We don't take the time to appreciate to such simple (yet curiously complex) blessings. The fact that an accessible form of transport can take you anywhere in the world within hours is actually miraculous. We overlook and underappreciate so many things life offers us.
When you yell at the driver in front of you for driving too slowly, you should instead be appreciative that the car isn't swerving in and out of lanes, endangering your life. When you have a stuffy nose, be grateful it's just that.
When you complain about that 8 am class you really hate, you should feel blessed you even have the opportunity to earn an education. When someone gets your order wrong at a restaurant, be thankful you are able to purchase the food at all.
Your parents or siblings, whom you find to be annoying? You should appreciate the attention they give you.
And of course, when we are standing in long lines, for whatever reason, we should appreciate that we are able to do so -- that alone is a miracle. I will never regard standing in a line the same way again -- imagine if you couldn't.
If you take the time to think about it, maybe you'll see that the world is a pretty great place. People need reminders that sometimes, they should stop expecting and demanding so much from the world.
Enjoy what the world has given to you because while you may be taking simple things for granted, someone else may be wishing he or she were as lucky as you are.
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