When was the last time you thought about your life with gratitude? How grateful are you really for all the things that occur in your life. Are you one of those great givers or are you a thoughtful thanker? What are the things in life that you are most grateful for ? What is it that you experience, without realising how amazing it is, and how terrible it would be it if was missing ?
This is the way people live their lives, perpexled in the sweet unawareness. We wake up in the morning without a second thought for the fact that we are alive and breathing. Throughout the night our hearts kept beating, our lungs kept filling with air without us having to do a thing. Our feet are on the floor and we’re off to the shower without even considering the magic involved in walking, the balance, the coordination and strength waking up in our body everyday. We turn on the water and never marvel at the mechanical genius that means we can have hot water delivered to us, without us having to do more than turn our wrist. We eat our breakfast and drink our coffee and arrange our day and juggle our appointments. We can see our loved ones even if it’s rarely in person and they’re miles away, we have the opportunity of the amazing modern technology that enables us to communicate and see people even if they are far away from us. We go through our usual day at work, go back home and complain on how tired we are after having a very busy day. We end up sitting on the sofa watchin tv or reading or having a conversation. We do not notice how amazing it is to do all these things at once. We live without knowing how wonderful it is even to have food in our bellies and a roof over our heads until it’s gone.
We ignore so much of the goodness in our life, only missing it when it is gone. The only time we do not take something for granted it when it suddenly disappears from our existence. I would not take my body for granted was when it was sick – when I couldn’t just jump out of bed without sneezing and blowing my nose all the way. The only time I appreciated the fact that I had a washing machine was when it broke down and I couldn’t just throw my clothes in and walk away.
I was reading a fragment of a book by Nietzsche ‘ Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits’where he says that ‘the powerful man feels gratitude for the following reason: through his good deed, his benefactor has, as it were, violated the powerful man’s sphere and penetrated it. Now through his act of gratitude the powerful man requites himself by violating the sphere of the benefactor. It is a milder form of revenge. Without the satisfaction of gratitude, the powerful man would have shown himself to be unpowerful and henceforth would be considered such. For that reason, every society of good men (that is, originally, of powerful men) places gratitude among its first duties.’
There is a lot of benefits of practicing and remembering to be grateful. Better health, happiness, satisfaction and peace. Apparently the quality of sleep improves and one feels better mentally and physically. Once you start feeling grateful you stop taking things for granted and realize how much you actually have. And it’s not about palpable things in life, it’s about love, fullfilment and selflove. Human nature is in conflict with that through ambition. We are in contstant pursuit. We are constantly striving for better houses, cars, jobs, more money, better wardrobes, better bodies, more friends and better, better, better and more and more and more! We should realise that we are here now, but may be gone tomorrow and by living in the moment, notice the little things around us making the life truly beautiful.
To trust gratitude, and make it a convincing concept it needs to be in a constructive relationship with aspiration. The call to gratitude isn’t for everyone at all times. It is a corrective for those among us who are in danger of overplaying ambition, for those chasing for something out of jealousy and not motivation by inner will and humility.
Reading about gratitude and feeling it throughtout the day , it makes me feel very humble and respectful towards surroundings and others. I was amazed to read about most neglected targets of gratitde to find out how many of them were listed; warm summer nights, bread on toast, baths, clean socks, the gift of life, the fortune of having family, nature around us, our family, music, our intelect, our homes, art, unexpected turn of events, ability to create and adapt, to think on our own and to have memories and so many more…
Therefore we should be grateful for all the lessons wwe receive. Say thank you and be happy as you could always have less. Life can always get worse and so could the world around us. Gratitude created respect and this phenomenon seems to be lacking in this beautiful constantly striving for perfection world of ours.
‘…feel illuminated by a new dawn; our heart overflows with gratitude, amazement, forebodings, expectation – finally the horizon seems clear again, even if not bright; finally our ships may set out again, set out to face any danger; every daring of the lover of knowledge is allowed again; the sea, our sea, lies open again; maybe there has never been such an ‘open sea’. ( Nietszche 2001)
Friedrich Nietzsche, Bernard Williams, Josefine Nauckhoff (2001). “Nietzsche: The Gay Science: With a Prelude in German Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs”, p.199, Cambridge University Press
Human, All Too Human & Beyond Good and Evil (Classics of World Literature) Paperback – 15 Mar 2015