“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~Cynthia Ozick
How often do you pause to appreciate what you have in life?
When I was young, I took things for granted. I believe many other kids did so, as well. After all, we were young and we didn’t know what life could be like on the other side.
One thing we took for granted was education. In my country, it’s compulsory for all kids to go to school, so it was a given. We never thought about how lucky we were to be educated.
We also took our teachers for granted. We never thought about how lucky we were to have teachers who cared for our growth so much, and poured their heart and soul into their lessons.
Then slowly as I grew up, I began to appreciate things around me more. As I saw more and more of the world out there, I realized all the things I’d been given are not rights, but privileges.
I realized that being literate is a not a right, but a gift. I realized there is a lot of war and violence in the world, and I’m lucky to live in a country where it’s safe and peaceful. I realized there are people out there who don’t have their five senses, and to have mine is a gift.
I realized the world is so beautiful, and we’re lucky to live in such an amazing world.
Sometimes it’s easy to feel bad because you’re going through a tough time in life. However, remember that no matter how bad your situation may seem, there are tens of thousands of things to be grateful for in life.
Below is a simple list of things that I’m grateful for in my life. Most of the items, if not all, will apply to you too. I’m sure as you read this list, you’ll think of many more things to be grateful for. Feel free to add on in the comments box below. I would love to read them.
Here are sixty things to be grateful for in our lives:
1. Your parents - for giving birth to you. Because if there is no them, there will not be you.
2. Your family – for being your closest kin in the world.
3. Your friends – for being your companions in life.
4. Sense of sight – for letting you see the colors of life.
5. Sense of hearing - for letting you hear trickle of rain, the voices of your loved ones, and the harmonious chords of music.
6. Sense of touch - for letting you feel the texture of your clothes, the breeze of the wind, the hands of your loved ones.
7. Sense of smell – for letting you smell scented candles, perfumes, and beautiful flowers in your garden.
8. Sense of taste – for letting you savor the sweetness of fruits, the saltiness of seawater, the sourness of pickles, the bitterness of bitter gourd, and the spiciness of chili.
9. Your speech – for giving you the outlet to express yourself.
10. Your heart – for pumping blood to all the parts of your body every second since you were born; for giving you the ability to feel.
11. Your lungs – for letting you breathe so you can live.
12. Your immune system – for fighting viruses that enter your body. For keeping you in the pink of your health so you can do the things you love.
13. Your hands – so you can type on your computer, flip the pages of books, and hold the hands of your loved ones.
14. Your legs - for letting you walk, run, swim, play the sports you love, and curl up in the comfort of your seat.
15. Your mind - for the ability to think, to store memories, and to create new solutions.
16. Your good health – for enabling you to do what you want to do and for what you’re about to do in the future.
17. Your school - for providing a environment conducive to learning and growing.
18. Your teachers – for their dedication and for passing down knowledge to you.
19. Tears – for helping you express your deepest emotions.
20. Disappointment - so you know the things that matter to you most.
21. Fears – so you know your opportunities for growth.
22. Pain – for you to become a stronger person.
23. Sadness – for you to appreciate the spectrum of human emotions.
24. Happiness – for you to soak in the beauty of life.
25. The Sun - for bringing in light and beauty to this world.
26. Sunset – for a beautiful sight to end the day.
27. Moon and Stars - for brightening up our night sky.
28. Sunrise - for a beautiful sight to start the morning.
29. Rain – for cooling you when it gets too warm and for making it comfy to sleep in on weekends.
30. Snow – for making winter even more beautiful.
31. Rainbows – for a beautiful sight to look forward to after rain.
32. Oxygen - for making life possible.
33. The earth – for creating the environment for life to begin.
34. Mother nature - for covering our world in beauty.
35. Animals – for adding to the diversity of life.
36. Internet - for connecting you and others despite the physical space between you.
37. Transport - for making it easier to commute from one place to another.
38. Mobile phones – for making it easy to stay in touch with others.
39. Computers – for making our lives more effective and efficient.
40. Technology – for making impossible things possible.
41. Movies – for providing a source of entertainment.
42. Books – for adding wisdom into your life.
43. Blogs – for connecting you with other like-minded people.
44. Shoes – for protecting your feet when you are out.
45. Time – for a system to organize yourself and keep track of activities.
46. Your job – for giving you a source of living and for being a medium where you can add value to the world.
47. Music - for lifting your spirits when you’re down and for filling your life with more love.
48. Your bed - for you to sleep comfortably in every night.
49. Your home - for a place you can call home.
50. Your soul mate – for being the one who understands everything you’re going through.
51. Your best friends – for being there for you whenever you need them.
52. Your enemies – for helping you uncover your blind spots so you can become a better person.
53. Kind strangers – for brightening up your days when you least expect it.
54. Your mistakes - for helping you to improve and become better.
55. Heartbreaks - for helping you mature and become a better person.
56. Laughter - for serenading your life with joy.
57. Love - for letting you feel what it means to truly be alive.
58. Life’s challenges - for helping you grow and become who you are.
59. Life - for giving you the chance to experience all that you’re experiencing, and will be experiencing in time to come.
And last but not least… #60:
For being who you are and touching the world with your presence.
*This post was originally published in 2010. Photo by Takuma Kimura