An important button on my phone broke today, my son as always spends hours fidgeting with my phone and throwing it around the room. I hadn’t taken this button for granted as I had never really even thought about it. I had never acknowledged its existence much until today when I could no longer use it. I suddenly realised how much I depend on this button, this phone, and how lost I am without my online connectivity. How much in our life do we simply overlook or take for granted? How many sheer blessings and profound miracles do we not notice in the stress and the hustle and bustle of our daily life?
Charles Dickens started a famous book with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” For purposes of remembering our daily blessings and miracles, I will focus only on the fact that in a multitude of aspects we really and truly do live in the best of times. I am able to pen these words in a warm climate-controlled room in a comfortable home in a pleasant neighbourhood by the main road on a convenient portable modern laptop with a beautiful soundtrack in the background. Soon I will decide whether to take the children out for a weekend lunch or open a state of the art fridge and freezer and place a number of diverse local and international ingredients in a microwave or electric oven for equally quick consumption. I was able to source many of these exotic ingredients because my family, friends and I travel all over the world and also most of the local markets stock multitudes of international brands thanks to modern transportation efficiency, technology, and economies of scale. A trip to the forest or lake to catch live meat or fish or the henhouse to pick some eggs or even the fields for homegrown vegetables one depends on to survive are all no longer necessary for modern connected city dwellers. We are blessed in the choice and connectivity at our fingertips.
However, let me bring even more context for gratitude to the fore. I am able to pen these words because we live in times that thankfully, most of us and have enough education to read and write. Let’s never take for granted our education. I can see my screen with the aid of spectacles thanks to modern engineering and medicine; I never take that for granted either. Whenever I pick up a pack of essential medicine for any member of my family, I feel singularly blessed that at my fingertips is years of research, testing, and remedial experience. Are we in awe enough of the fact that we can walk into a hospital and receive brilliant lifesaving care? Do we give thanks enough for the fact that these hospitals are clean, hygienic, comfortable and state of the art? That their staff is experienced, educated, trained, organised, orderly and pleasant? That the teams operate cohesively and optimally? I remind myself I need to schedule a dental cleaning soon and perhaps replace an old dental crown – another profound blessing to be grateful for.
I just noticed that the tree outside my window which I rarely tend to or water is actually as always doing just splendidly. It is beautiful to look at and more so when I see the birds that regularly enjoy it too and hear their song. A tree that takes care of itself. Songbirds. A temperate climate and benevolent sun which smiles every day and never fails to show up for duty. A warm breeze. All profound miracles and blessings too as are all seasons beauties wherever we are, from Autumn’s artful foliage to April’s exquisite buds to Winter snows.
I could go on forever talking about the smallest things we all can be grateful for, but I’d like to for a moment, remember why an attitude of gratitude is so important. It can inform the way we deal with each other and the universe. Yes, the world is also often extremely stressful, complex and difficult. World news is not always all rosy but to be mindful of and grateful for all the profound blessings and miracles around us is to be a more responsible, loving and caring global citizen. We will appreciate and love each other and our universe more when we realise how profoundly blessed we all are.
When we remember the car or bike we drive, public transport, house we live in, company we work in, technology we use, food we eat, water we drink, books we read, education we have, entertainment we enjoy, all wouldn’t and couldn’t be accessible to us if we were not all so codependent and cooperative and in sync with each other’s needs as a planet.
Take a moment to appreciate every single thing on and around you, and every single person you know. Then promise you will never stop being grateful for all life’s blessings and aware of the cooperation and love and caring this planet needs to survive, prosper, advance and thrive.
Back to my phone. I was able to thankfully immediately schedule an appointment to fix it in a convenient location at my home. I will perhaps trim my hair while at that mall at the talented hairstylist’s who plays beautiful music, buy more lightbulbs from the hardware store, stock up on groceries at the supermarket and have a cup of delicious coffee at the local café while I catch up on work remotely and observe the profound beauty of daily life passing by.
If you are like me you will never stop being humbly awestruck at the sheer choices, sights, scents, styles, fashions and sheer diversity of modern life; there is plenty to be grateful for so let’s stay grateful. Be unfailingly kind and gentle to each other and make this world even lovelier with each passing day.