There are studies, and a hell of a lot of self-help books that make emphasis on how being grateful will improve your happiness, health and well being. Being grateful is said to be one of those “one pill cures all” sort of techniques/behaviours.
And it has a truth ring to it, doesn’t it? We all feel better when we’re truly thankful after something good has happened in our lives. In reality, every single day of our lives is nothing short of a miracle. The simple idea of being alive is quite astounding if you think about it hard enough.
Let’s have an extremist negative view of life for a moment. Imagine all the things that could go wrong every single day but don’t. A car accident, the elevator not opening, food poisoning, being fired from work, an unexpected illness either in a family member or yourself, some misunderstanding that could cost you a lot of money/time. There are so many things that could go wrong every day but don’t.
Now see life from the opposite point of view, from a positive point of view. You wake up every day (maybe sleepy) and there’s this black ink that gives you energy when drinking it (coffee), how freaking amazing is that? I can chat with my mother which is 10 thousand kilometres away, in a different continent, via a… thing… that does… things… and it’s kinda invisible? (the internet); using a black box with keys and a glowing square that shows wondrous images (my laptop, bless her). I just finished downloading a movie that weighs more than all the Nasa Moon mission vehicles could hold on their hard drives together, and I did so in 10 minutes because this Internet thing is a silent angel.
Humans have a tendency to focus on the bad things, to see the shadows in the corners and hear sounds in the bushes. Our ancestors evolved in a dangerous savanna where fending for yourself was more important than being grateful for the rabbit you caught yesterday. Being afraid, careful and negativistic had a lot of benefits, like keeping you alive.
We no longer live in a dangerous savanna, we live in a much more secure society (well, it depends on your country surely) which provides us with many wonderful things. Let’s never forget how lucky each one of us is for living in the safest most prosperous era of human existence.
We all groan about the things we missed or what we’d like to have that we don’t, that’s good! Let that unsatisfaction with your current life drive you forward so you can acquire that which you yearn for, but try not to forget about being grateful for what you have today and even more so being thankful when you obtain what you desire.