Sometimes I get caught up in negativity. I like to think of myself as a positive person, but I know that I can turn things negative just as easily as the next person. One way that I find myself changing that is by being grateful.
Gratefulness is a concept that I think some Americans, especially kids find foreign. Instead of learning to be grateful for what they have....they feel entitled. This entitlement is creating a whole generation of people who just expect to get whatever they want when they want it.
I could have been someone like that. My American life was wrapped up in myself until I stepped on a plane and landed in India. My first plane ride, my first country. I saw poverty first-hand. I witnessed children dirty, hungry, tired begging in the streets. I saw mothers use their babies to get them food. I saw despair and desperation. I saw what life was like for those not born privileged, and I was grateful.
How do you explain to people once you have been to a third world country what it is like? I am not sure that there is any way except to experience it for yourself. Many times I think as Americans we get caught up in going on 1-2 week trips to experience life in a third world country and we become experts. In reality though...that glimpse isn't even close to what people experience on a daily basis.
I taught 3 years in Bangkok, Thailand. During that time I will say without a doubt I learned how to be authentically grateful. I saw people so desperate to change their situations, that they would sell their body to buy their kids some food. I saw people so in awe of me because I was from America. How can you put into words the feeling you have when you realize that just by being born where you were and into the family you were....you are more privileged then much of the world?
I learned to be grateful. I learned to be grateful that I had a roof over my head, enough money to buy what I needed, and the opportunity to go to school. I learned to be grateful that I was allowed to venture out on my own as a single female. I learned to be grateful that I could have an opinion that differed from my family. I learned to be grateful that I had seen the ocean, spent the night on an island, eaten exotic food, and made friends that had different beliefs then I did. I learned to be grateful because I no longer saw the world through American eyes.
Being authentically grateful means that everyday I am looking for the things that I have that are good in this world. That opens my eyes and life to being positive and hopefully putting a little more positive out in the world.
Here are some things I am grateful for today:
My town and our trails!!! Love being able to go hiking!!!
Healthy Food! The ability to eat healthy food, to get food that is good for me.
The culture of my town. We have so many great festivals!!!
The Color Run!!!!
Flowers....and snow....especially both of them together.
What are you authentically grateful for? Has your amount of
gratefulness changed as you have gotten older, or because of an