Reason #9 | We Have It Pretty Good.
A little gratitude goes a long way. Yes, you've heard that before. And yes, everyone is living a different life. Generalizing about the human experience is a bad idea - but it’s safe to say that many of us are living great lives. We’ve all got our weird childhoods, our issues, our hurdles - but we’ve got a lot to be happy about too! I love how author of You Are A Badass, Jen Sincero, puts it:
“It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow Internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now.
We're on a planet that somehow knows how to rotate on its axis and follow a defined path while it hurtles through space! Our hearts beat! We can see! We have love, laughter, language, living rooms, computers, compassion, cars, fire, fingernails, flowers, music, medicine, mountains, muffins!”
Girl gets it. Travel tends to inspire gratitude, right after it reminds you how good you have it. Sometimes it's something little, like appreciating your car at home after spending a semester abroad using public transportation. Sometimes it's something much more obvious, like being stunned by the living conditions in a third world country, and going home full of gratitude for your clean sheets and running water.
It's really hard to be angry when you're busy being grateful. The trick is really feeling it though - which requires some focus and getting over our too-cool-for-this-shit attitudes.
This isn’t meant to be a preachy bit about how all of us are self absorbed and ungrateful, and finish your vegetables on that plate or else, because there are starving children in Africa - so just hear me out.
There ARE starving children in Africa, though. There are hungry, hurting, desperate, frightened people all over the world. Any small amount of empathy in you + five minutes of watching the news could completely overwhelm and depress you. There are unkind, hateful people in this world. There are good, kind people who don’t deserve their struggles. BUT - there is also love, kindness, and light. The good news is - light scatters dark quickly. Ever noticed how quickly a dark room is flooded with light when you flick on the switch? There is good. And - good creates a chain reaction of good quickly. Bear with me here.
There are people with strength and an internal compass of caring who make their life’s goal to help people out climb out of those desperate places. We need those people spreading kindness and light, to scatter the dark. In the spirit of gratitude, let’s take a sec and mentally thank those collective humans. Seriously, thank you. What you do everyday is immense and beautiful. What you do is not easy, and we genuinely, deeply appreciate your enthusiasm and endurance with spreading love and light. Thank you. Thanks.