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Feeling Gratitude for All the People We Sleep With

“We are all connected in ways we cannot even begin to fathom. Our lives unfold through each other and within each other.” ~David Rhodes

I can’t help myself—I love sleeping with people.

The more the better!

There’s nothing like crawling between the sheets with a lot of people. Female. Male. An armload of ethnicities. It’s all good!

Hey, don’t look at me like I should be ashamed of myself, because I’m not!

Besides, I know you do it, too.  And you probably love it just as much as I do.

You think you know what I’m talking about, but I guarantee you’re wrong. (Quick lesson: assumptions are not good!)

See, what I’m talking about is the thousands (yes, thousands) of people it takes to create the beds we sleep in.

There are the people who extract the iron ore from the earth and…

…the people who ship the ore to…

…the mill workers who separate the iron from the slag and then make the angle iron for the bed frame.

There are the people who grow the cotton that will eventually be made into sheets and pillowcases.

There are the people who make dyes, who in turn rely on…

…the people who create the proper chemicals with petroleum or coal which, of course, is the fruit of…

…the labor of people who drill for oil or mine for coal.

There are the loggers who cut the trees that will become headboards and footboards…

I could go on and on and on!

And all those people represent only a few of the bed’s components!

The circle expands ever further.

Consider the people who work to pay those people who make all the parts of your bed—not to mention those who work to harvest and produce the food consumed by all of those individuals.  And the people who build the vehicles to ship the parts…

You get the picture!

And, of course, all of these people would not be here if it wasn’t for their parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. In the end, it is completely accurate to say billions of people sleep with you every night!

We are all interconnected. The person who thinks of himself as completely independent is laughably mistaken.

He eats food produced by fellow humans. He clothes himself with fabrics and materials made by fellow humans. When he is sick, he takes medicine produced by other humans or goes to other humans in doctor’s offices and hospitals who will try to help him heal.

He even depends on the animals and/or plants he eats for sustenance, and the rain that nourishes the plants, ad infinitum.

There is no such thing as true independence.

Tonight, as you climb into your soft, comfortable bed, think about the fact that, in a very real sense, that bed is a gift to you from the whole world. Its story dates back to the birth of this planet—and beyond.

It is truly amazing to ponder.

Take a moment to be grateful for that gift, and then enjoy sleeping around, so to speak.

Tell your friends to do it, too!

If we all recognize our interconnectedness, it makes it that much harder to hate.

After all, how can we hate the people who give us pillows upon which to rest our heads? And how can we abuse a planet that so richly provides us all we need to sleep in such comfort?

Then, take it one step further and think about the people who don’t have beds, or the peace in which to sleep in them soundly, even if they do.

Think about ways, however small, you can help begin to change that.

It can be as easy as dropping a dollar in the cup held up by a homeless person or giving some money to a charity. It could be offering a kind word to a coworker or forgiving a wrong from the past.

It might be meditating or doing yoga and taking the fruits of that into your daily life.

Or it can be as involved as joining the Peace Corps or choosing a career in an industry dedicated to helping humans or animals.

It doesn’t matter what you choose. What matters is that you choose something.

“If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving and sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of selfishness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared, if there were someone to receive their gift.” ~Buddha


Lori’s Note: Rhiannon is offering a special giveaway from her site, Metta-Morphosis.org, for Tiny Buddha readers: each of 20 people will receive two plastic Metta-Cardsand a Metta-Morphosis wristband. For a chance to win, leave a comment on the post sharing something you’re grateful for! You can enter until midnight PST on Sunday, November 25th. UPDATE: The winners for this giveaway have already been chosen. Subscribe to Tiny Buddha for free daily or weekly emails and to learn about future giveaways!

Photo by xlordashx

Avatar of Rhiannon

About Rhiannon

Metta-Morphōsis.org is a site that encourages people to "Practice Kindness and Transform the World." It’s the home base for Metta-Cards™—plastic cards that allow people to track their acts of kindness to see how one good deed inspires others. The site also features contributor stories, contests & inspirational videos.

Announcement: Want to share your story in the next Tiny Buddha book? Learn more here!
  • Dochy

    I have to admit that I did start out with some assumptions! I thought this was the new rage in town like the hugging therapy :) But I was pleasantly surprised as i read through the post! This is SUCH an easy yet awesome way to inculcate gratitude into our daily lives! Most of us have beds and there have been multiple things that I’ve been thankful for each day, but never my bed! Come to think of it, my bed has seen more laughter and tears than any other thing/person I know!!! It knows more about me than most of my friends! A constant (soft and comfy) companion through all my smiles, tears, secret conversations, hidden agendas! Thank you SOOO much Rhiannon for this wonderful post on simple joys in life!

  • http://www.ithuit.com/ Perry Hua

    Thank you world for being so amazing!

  • Cary

    Rhiannon, Let me simply say that your playful humor brought a smile to my face. Thank you. My laughable mistakes are many, my adventurous independence an able piper, and the realization that I am connected something that all too often I need to be reminded of. Life gets busy. The subtle strength of your post, and it’s reminder that I am never alone, offer a chance to slow down and “truly ponder”. Thank you for the nudge. Cary

  • carabucott

    I am thankful for the challenges I face, as they are what make me grow stronger and wiser.

    Namaste!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jillskahn Jill Kahn

    Well said! I second that!

  • Lisa

    Thank you for reminding me to reaaly peel back every “thing”. check out Zoe Weil from Humane Eduation, she has insight regarding our education system and how we look at the “true price” of something.
    Goday, I am grateful for all the resources I have that continue to help me navigate extreme loss.

  • Raine

    I cannot even begin to say how thankful I am for the wonderful people in my life-the man I am in love with, the wonderful friends that I enjoy spending time with each and every day, and my loving family, whom without, I wouldn’t even be here today to write this post. I love you, everybody. :]

  • Daniil

    I am grateful for amount of passion I have for all the wonderful things in the world without even realizing or at times forgetting about it. I am amazed at how much things can change if you don’t give up when times get hard and get through the storm. Amount of love we have is unsurpassed by anything we can imagine.

  • Julie H.

    I am grateful for my health. Without your health, you really don’t have anything, even if you have all of the money in the world. I am also grateful for my wonderful husband, lovely friends and awesome family.

  • Sam

    What an appropriate post for today :) At this moment, I am grateful for Rhiannon – for reminding us that we’re all interconnected, for Tiny Buddha bringing this entry to my inbox, for Lori – the wonder behind it, Lori’s parents, grandparents, etc … without them there would not be this, for the internet, my service provider, Google, the inventors of computers, the people who put it altogether. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • Represso

    More people should think like this, nice post!

  • Calvine

    I am so grateful for my five children. I am just an ordinary woman with an ordinary life and ordinary needs. However, my children totally transformed my ordinary life into an extraordinary one. They are the reason why I felt so special and loved. When I became a mom, I thought, I would have so much to teach to my children. It turned out that they taught me more about life and myself than I taught them…!That is the beauty of life. I am so thankful because they transformed me in a better person. They taught me love, forgiveness, respect, patience, honesty, kindness, commitment, responsibility, tolerance, and so much more… Thank you my children for guiding me and showing me the way to wisdom. I love you from all my heart. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/SYoungNZ Sarah Young

    Thank you to all the family and friends who support each and every one of us. Thank you for the windows of opportunity that appear before us :)

  • Lola

    I am grateful for Tiny Buddha and all the contributors who are helping to enlighten our journey! Thanks Giving Blessings to all.

  • Shaun

    I do not have a bed but I’m thankful to have a temporary roof over my head.

  • Melissa

    Thank you for writing this. It really does make one think about the interconnectedness of it all. Today I’m thankful for my family, my friends, and my health.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shalin.richards Shalin Richards

    I am grateful of the magic that surrounds my everyday life- and that very life it’s self!…

  • Emma-Jayne Saanen

    Right at this moment, I am thankful to all the people who brought my chai teabags into my home. So many people bring me a little bit of post-work bliss.

  • Dennis Noll

    I am grateful for having Buddha in my life for 50 years.

  • http://twitter.com/aganday IamAudrey

    thank you for such a great validation of how people are interconnected with each other even if time and distance keep them apart but not for long. I am thankful for that chance to meet people and be connected with them in hearts, mind and soul. Such a great blessing and awesome welcoming surprise that energizes and gives hope that you will be together again sometime, somewhere…follow the instinct and it will lead you there…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=680059595 Liz Rizzo

    I got a kick out of this post because I often think about how grateful I am to have a strong, comfy bed to sleep in. Another big one for me is the clean water that runs into my home at my requested temperature – it’s quite a wonder when you think about it! And I’ll take this opportunity to say how thankful I am for Tiny Buddha and all the inspiration and wisdom I find here. Thank you!

  • Jeet

    I am thankful for all open-minded and compassionate kindred souls! :-)

  • Iky

    I am thankful to God, who without, i would not have the love and friendships that i have in my life.

  • http://Zentivity.com/ Jim Krenz

    I am grateful for gratitude itself.

  • Harsh

    I am grateful for my parents .. That they stood by me in all my difficult times .. Not only supportd me bt tought me how to fight difficulties

  • Timmie

    I am grateful for my family!

  • Renee

    Great article. It’s all too easy in our busy lives to forget to show gratitude to everyone around us when they rightly deserve it. I’ve realized that especially after giving birth to a beautiful baby boy and seeing how much support and love I received from the nurses who didn’t treat me just as another patient but as a person they genuinely cared about

  • Justin

    I’m thankful for gravy boats. Imagine what a mess we would have on our hands without them!

  • Toby

    I am grateful for Buddha and my journey along my path to enlightenment. Also for our collective consciousness

  • vernette

    Clever and insighful way to look at the world around us. I enjoyed this article.

  • tiffany

    I am thankful for the ability to make the best choices for the universe and myself

  • Amber

    I’m thankful for all of the amazing people that I am interconnected with in this world, those I know and those I have yet to meet or may never meet…connections to others are what makes the world go round…

  • Ann

    Wow awesome way to look at something we do everyday. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sulekha

    This is a wonderful thought :) Thank you for putting it across with such clarity and insight. You have shared something you believe and is comforting to you with others here. The Buddha would be proud, I am sure :) I follow — `smile’ at someone you don’t know and make them feel nice every day…

  • Barbara

    I am grateful for my life after brain surgery; the surgeons, hospital, nurses, and all the people, family and friends, who have helped me along the way to find my new way of living a beautiful life. I am very lucky for every new moment I am here.

  • Subramani Sarode

    I AM RELATED TO EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING!

    The hot topic some time back in the media was; Obama related Brad, Hillary Clinton, Angelina: It further said Obama is related to Winston Churchill,
    Bush Jr. and Sr. Harry Truman, etc.

    On reading this, I sent my gene sample to Genealogy centre funded by UN and based in Switzerland. This centre employs a super speciality super computer capable of crunching Trillions of Terabytes of information in seconds.

    On submitting my gene code to this computer, I had to wait for 43 minutes for it to spew the names of my relatives. I started reading as it printed the names, and the list went as below;
    Nitin Sarode,
    Manohar Divate, Shobha Chillal, …….

    Dinesh Naik,
    Raja Ashok Vantagudi, Jaganathan….

    Pradeep
    Khannur….

    To my surprise
    it not only printed all the contacts in my mail_box but continued as;

    N.R.Narayana Murthy, Ratan Tata, Kiran Bedi, Indira Gandhi, Birla clans, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Osama Bin Laden, Mohammed Bin Tughalak, Babar, Alexander, Aristotle, Issac Newton, Siddharta , Mohammed, Jesus, Vyasa, ……

    And whole lot of names.

    Then out of curiosity I gave one more sample of gene for tracing the genealogy. This time the computer took just 40 minutes and started printing the names. On watching the names, the Director of the Genealogy centre queried me; “Is this sample belongs to your nearest cousin?, because same names are being printed albeit in a different order.”

    When I said that the sample was drawn from a street dog, the Director was astonished.

    But there is no question of astonishment here. It has been revealed a long ago by our great seers, that all the living and non-living things, have originated from a single source. Every thing in this Universe is made up of the same Energy, only the manifestation differs.

  • John

    I am grateful for trees to sit under and dirt to sit upon.

  • joanelyia

    I am grateful for all of the people in my world. All the ones I know as well as all the ones I haven’t met yet!

  • http://kaizenways.com/ JeffreyFriend | KaizenWays.com

    This was a great way to spread this type of knowledge Rhiannon. It’s a difficult concept to grasp sometimes. I first heard it when I was reading The Art of Power by Thich Nhat Hanh. He was talking about things being non-objects in the sense that if you had a chair, it was made up of chair, but also non-chair qualities. The non-chair qualities are those things that it took to make that chair. The people, the materials, the time, etc. Such an interesting concept. It takes a while to fully grasp it, so it was a great reminder for me. Thank you for writing this :-)

  • Dryalantha

    I’m grateful for the ability of being grateful. I’ve been (and still am) grateful on daily base and it feels wonderful. :)

  • Andrea

    I am grateful for my eyes and their ability to read this beautiful blog post today, and I am grateful for my heart’s ability to receive its message :-)

  • Angela

    I am grateful for friends who see the real me and love me regardless of my faults.

  • linda

    i am so grateful for my family and friends

  • Liz Roberts

    Great article and lesson! I am grateful to have been blessed with wonderful and loving friends and a family who is always there for me. I am also grateful to have been given the gift of an open mind and heat to continue learning and growing. I’m one lucky gal!

  • stamani

    I’m greatful for having my wife to bear life with me, even now when we are on marriage counselling and the future is a blur…

  • Nicole

    In simplest terms, I am grateful for my life — for the good, the bad, the lessons, opportunities and everything in between — and for those who I am blessed to have in my life to share this journey.

  • Anne

    I’m grateful for my life in general but especially for my dog Lucy who makes me laugh and with whom I never feel blue. She’s terrific.

  • Mihaela Bacanu

    I am grateful for all the moments where I am still amazed by the beauty of life, I get filled up with this feeling that everything is worth it. Just being able to breathe the city air on a calm night, to smell the flowers of a cherry tree in a windy afternoon, to hold hands and walk on the sea shore, listening to the sounds of the waves. Dreams, love, kindness, human connection, nature, art, and the infinity of possibilities. All, oh so very beautiful!

  • Jenelle

    I am grateful for my health. Having not always had healthy days, it is a true blessing and one I am constatly reminded not to take for granted.

  • Ryan

    I’m grateful for the friend that calls to check on me – ‘just because.’ You will never fully know the good you do.

  • Janine

    I am grateful for all the people it takes to help me take care of myself on my journey to wholeness and health…I have several chronic diseases and while I am bummed that I have them I am grateful for the community of folks that help keep me from falling apart and help me to see that while my body has issues I have control over how I perceive and live with them

  • ansuman

    I am grateful for what i am today. Thanks to the Super-soul, and each & every soul that exists in the whole Universe. I am grateful that I am here on tinybuddha.com :-)

  • ansuman

    I am grateful for what i am today. Thanks to the Super-soul, and each & every soul that exists in the whole Universe. I am grateful that I am here on tinybuddha.com :-)