It’s a simple fact that we work for what we don’t have. It is the act of fulfilling our craft. Or simply, “gettin’ ours.” When we’re not striving for it, we’re called lazy and complacent. Simple as that.
And what comes from that which we have already achieved or been given? Is it possible to be content yet yearn for more? Are things we are thankful for viewed through a different lens depending on if we’ve worked for it ourselves or if it’s been handed to us?
Are we any less grateful?
I don’t know. It’s a pretty high calling, if you ask me. Call me morbid, but isn’t it a bit gratuitous (same root, negative connotation) to always be telling people to look down the food chain and the totem pole more often than up?
I’m not so sure if the lower-than-thou dwellers appreciate my pity. Well thank goodness I’m not that. How about saving the comparisons entirely and changing from the inside out? The understanding that each one of us has our own process and honoring that is just too important. Even honoring others’ processes. Changing my perspective yet not settling for “taking what I can get.”
I want change from the inside out.
I once heard that giving is more important than receiving, because giving starts the receiving process.
Here’s another one, thanks to Cicero: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
A pretty grand statement, Mr. Cicero. The greatest? Seriously?
But it makes sense. Can you imagine humility, generosity, hopefulness or contentment without gratitude?
A few more definitions on gratitude:
- the heart’s memory
- the soul’s medicine
- appreciative awareness
…and an antonym: pride.
For instance, there’s boasting. I found that sometimes, if someone’s bragging about an accomplishment or an attainment, it’s not because she’s actually thankful for it–it’s because she doesn’t yet have the respect that supposedly comes with people knowing what she’s bragging about. Or, the satisfaction that comes with her knowing that other people know–pick one. I’ve done it, too.
If we ever thought we could lose what we have, would we be prideful about having it in the first place? Doubtful.
Food for thought. (Or, my T-day post, premature by only a week.)
This Thanksgiving, I’m striving to forget what I give and remember what I receive. If we don’t just go through the motions but truly believe that we’ve been blessed, then we’re more likely to distribute what we have. Gifts aren’t meant to be given so that we get things in return–otherwise they aren’t truly gifts. We truly benefit from the thankfulness and gratitude we experience in our daily lives.
And so, I’ve made a tiny gratitude journal so that I’ll have logged things I’m thankful for–at least one on each page for each day. It’ll be an experiment.