Gratitude

Want to live a life unfulfilled and ladened with misery? Spend your days eyeing your friends’ worldly possessions, and that’s exactly what you shall receive. Obviously, the preceding question was one of indignity. However, you’d be surprised at the number of people who spend their days coveting the next person; from their cars and clothes to their talents and mates, wondering, “Why not me?” Allow me to illustrate…

A few months, I was talking to a close friend of mine who was down on her luck. She’d lost her job and as a result, her car was repossessed. She spent a lot of time sulking and complaining about how life had dealt her a bad hand. Then, one day, a relative offered her a car. The car was about twelve years old, but in good condition and ready to drive. He didn’t want money in exchange, only to bless my friend with a working vehicle, so that she could get to and from her new job. She accepted the car with reluctance. When I expressed my excitement for her not only landing a new job, but also receiving a FREE car, her response was an underwhelming, “I guess…I mean…I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but this is an old car and my new job isn’t as good as my last one.” For someone who didn’t mean to sound ungrateful, she ‘d surely done a heck of a job with it.

I was dumbfounded. She went on to explain that she was an adult, thirty-something-year-old woman and that she felt like she deserved more at this particular point in her life. When I asked how she’d come to this conclusion, she said that everyone she knew had a better home, car, and job than she did and that life wasn’t fair. I quickly reminded her that fair (fare)is something you pay to ride the bus and that many others were a lot worse off than her. My comments were met with an eye roll. I couldn’t believe that someone who was on the verge of a comeback from a temporary setback could be so ungrateful!

Wishing for things that don’t belong to you (and possibly not meant for you) is a recipe for disaster, and here’s why:

  • It prompts you to take a bemoaning attitude toward yourself, which is good for absolutely nothing! How can you be the best you if you’re busy watching someone else?
  • It impedes everything that you could be accomplishing in your life. Instead of working toward your goals, you’re focused on what you don’t have.
  • It’s bad for your relationships. People don’t want to deal with an envious or negative person.
  • It causes you to miss out on opportunities because yours don’t come in the “package” that you think it should.
  • It creates a false sense of what is important. Things are fleeting and superficial. In other words, the grass ain’t always greener…be grateful for what you do have.

Take a moment and look around. If you’re surrounded by four walls that are not made of cardboard, you can move most of your body parts, and you have food in your fridge and clothes on your ass, you’re winning. Everything else is a bonus. Now, take your attitude of gratitude and get busy living.

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