Forgetting Gratitude

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3 years ago


How a virtually innocent discussion between my elder sister and my six-year-old nephew taught me the true meaning of Gratitude!


What happened?

I was caught in the cross-fires of what appeared to be a civil discussion between my nephew and my elder sister; only my sister was trying hard not to yell at him. My nephew wanted a new toy, and he was pestering his mother for one, whereas my sister felt that he had to learn first to take care of his existing toys, only then more will come.

My nephew, though, like any six-year-old, did not see the point my sister was making and was on the verge of throwing tantrums. Being the first grandchild in the family and my first nephew, he was the recipient of all the goodies from my father, mom, me, and his father. So, he got a new toy almost every alternate day. Despite that, he wanted more. Being content, it appeared, was not the norm.

What Did I Learn?

But this episode also made me introspect about myself. My nephew could be forgiven for he was just six years old, but I was different. I fall in the category of the so-called ‘mature person’ and hence had to be more responsible with my actions. But was I?

I had more than enough of everything that I ever required, and I wanted more. Nothing wrong with wanting more, but was I ever thankful for what I had? I definitely did not seem to be. Gratitude was something even I did not have, then why did I expect my nephew to be any different? A hypocrite to the core! It was a day of revelation and true understanding.

Time and again, I had heard about gratitude from spiritual gurus, motivational speakers, and even performance coaches. Still, I never appreciated the real meaning of the thing to the extent that I had done today. In many ways, my nephew represented me, a person ungrateful for the thing I already had, while asking for more from a state of scarcity. Like I already said, my nephew could be forgiven but can I? Also, all the while, I am asking for more from the state of ‘not having,’ how can I achieve something I need?

Those that understand the Law of Attraction (LoA) would know for sure that I cannot have an abundance from the scarcity state. I definitely had to move from asking for more to expressing gratitude for having what I have. The asking can continue, but gratitude needs to take precedence.

My Past

Then I went back to my past, my childhood. As a child, my mother asked me to pray and thank God for all that he had given me, but it was a rather difficult part. Why? Because as a child, I could see only those things I wanted and never saw the things I had, much like my nephew. But my mother was a person who wouldn’t give up, and she did teach me. She taught me to pray, and it went something like this.

“Lord Almighty, thank you for this wonderful day. Thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for keeping me hale and hearty and healthy. Thank you for my hands and legs. Thank you for keeping my parents, sister, friends, teachers, and all the people I know healthy. Thank you for taking care of me every day and for loving me every day. Help me every day to grow more and more appreciative of the things you have given me. Amen.”

I used to pray this way every day, but if you are technical like me, you’ll realize that this prayer did not ask God for the goodies I wanted. The smart kid I was, I went and protested with my mom that I did not get to ask for the things I wanted. She said something which I now realize was profound.

“You just have to pray to God the way I asked you to, and whatever you need will come to you.”

Honestly, my protests continued, and mom said that God already knew what I wanted and had already sent it. So, while I waited, why not thank him for all that he had already given. I did not really follow, but somewhere, somehow, she convinced me to stay with the prayer.

What Now?

It’s been ages now, and my mom is already in the loving arms of Lord God Almighty. It was a spark she ignited in the form of a prayer, which I truly understood, only so much later. My nephew only stoked the spark, and now it is a towering flame. I now know what Gratitude is, and I know my life would be so much better appreciating my blessings. Not only that, but I could also see the ill-effects of not realizing the good things that I already had. I would be no different from any kid, who kept on protesting and continued being in disharmony without seeing the made point. I could physically grow up, but mentally, I would always remain a kid. It was a choice I had to make. It was a call I had to take.

I did take. I chose to be mature. I chose to live with Gratitude!! I am grateful for my mother’s teachings.

Thank you, God, for everything!! Especially the special mom you gave me and a great teacher in my nephew!!

Try out the gratitude challenge to keep you on your toes.


Image Courtesy: Exsodus

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Written by
3 years ago