Please teach me to appreciate what I have before time forces me to appreciate what I had. Susan L. Lenzkes
By nature the human race is rarely satisfied. We are never pleased with our own self; be it our physical mental and intellectual abilities. We find fault with our relationships, our material possessions, and our work, our world in which we live and often feel uncomfortable with our own thoughts, feelings and desires. The root of all these is our obsession with comparing with what others have and craving for what we do not have in the mistaken belief that possessing it will bring us happiness and peace. The problem is not one of possession but one of our inability to fully appreciate and relish what we are blessed with.
Our penchant to take all that we are blessed with for granted perhaps is the biggest single reason for our unhappiness. Having a loving family, a healthy life, adequate monetary support and a decent standard of living are all special blessings we are privileged to have. Just look around at the humongous population around us who do not posses even a meager amount of the comforts and personal riches both tangible and intangible that we are fortunate to have. We may for example fully appreciate the value of being fully fit only when we have a serious illness or maybe a fall that has temporarily incapacitated us. We often take our parents for granted, resent their loving but nagging ways or find fault in their outdated thinking and conservative ways, but miss them terribly when they are not around.
Comparisons are the millstone that keeps dragging us down the waters of daily life for we flounder and drown in the misery of pining for what others posses and we do not and what we desperately crave for. Be it the latest gadgets, the trendiest fashion statement, the cool tag funky gimmicks we want to be seen as having it all. We psyche ourselves into believing that without being accepted as part of the modern culture we are aborigines living in the deepest part of the urban jungle. Envy, greed and jealousy are the trio of emotions that wreck our daily living and turns it into a pure hell for we are constantly hurting inside hating the ones who show off and antagonize us. What we fail to really appreciate is the reality that it is our thoughts that antagonize us not their possessions.
It is our negative mindset and propensity to be critical that is the coup de grace that firmly ensures that we wallow in self misery and suffer imaginary ignominy. Rather than see the good of people, things or events those who are negative will seek out the potential problems, the possible downside and the perceived ineptitudes that could disgrace one. This perhaps explains the compulsive urge of people to splurge ostentatiously on weddings and funerals. The fear that one would be labeled miserly, tasteless and undignified pressurizes one to go overboard without rhyme or reason. Instead of sticking to the simple, the time honored and the affordable, if one seeks to answer all the detractors, the critics and the self proclaimed socialites we would be only desperately seeking in vain to please others at the cost of never being pleased ourselves. The beauty of tradition, the personal touch in simplicity and the peace of mind one experiences in limiting our wants are what craves appreciation and is common sense.
Remember: “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have” Stephen Hawking
- Have a look at the video on the armless pilot Jessica Cox http://tinyurl.com/5t5of6s and appreciate her self belief. Ask yourself if you have a fraction of her self belief to attempt something you are passionate about but feared daring.
- Choose one of the following three and tell yourself why you appreciate it
- Flowers – Tulip / Lotus/ Lily
- Animal – Rhino/ Alligator/ Wild boar
- Fruits – Lemon/ Cherry/ Figs
- Places – Amazon jungles/ Kalahari desserts/ Siberia
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