Gratefulness, a universal elixir

Thanksgiving, the annual festival in the west tells me why can’t we make our lives more meaningful by thanking not just the Almighty but also the people around who made a difference to us in some way? There can be innumerable reasons to feel thankful about. Gratitude can change the essence of our very living.

Being thankful to people who have been good to us should become a given. Human nature unfortunately doesn’t always know how to count one’s blessings. We are so preoccupied by what is lacking in our lives that we tend to become oblivious to what continues to be good. The big question is how do we make gratitude it a part of our disposition? Given the stressful times of today, every one of us is so engrossed meeting the challenges that we cannot possibly focus on being grateful. The best way to do this is to remember that no one has a perfect life. Kings to beggars, millionaires to slumdwellers have their own share of problems. After all, happiness is relative.

In a city like Mumbai, where thousands of people are racing against time to make the ends meet in varying capacities, there are people who manage to keep themselves happy. It’s very common to see slumdwellers regaling in every festival – children to adults making merry in their festively lit up slums.

The moment we become grateful even when a situation is not ideal, we can alter our living. We could be extremely irritated, upset or angry with someone who has probably hurt us beyond the realms of our forgiveness. But the moment we try to thank them for whatever they did, we would feel emancipated. For it will drive away all the negativity engulfed within. Every experience is a learning lesson. By thanking the person who wronged us, we are transforming our perception, not about that person but of the event which caused us pain.

We will never get that perfect partner, job or a house, but we should be thankful for at least having a partner, a job or a house. People change, jobs change, situations change. The transition from imperfect to perfect and vice versa is inevitable yet unpredictable. The key here is to   learn to feel perfect despite the imperfections.  Perfect the art of gratefulness.