This is a word that all too often we don’t express enough, a word that we pull forward with some action during this time of year, but then file it in the back of our minds once the holiday season has come to an end. After the new year has begun we shift back into this state of aggression, we’re back to honking like mad men on the freeway during rush hour traffic…we’re back to complaining that we spent 10 minutes in line to get our coffee or that the price of gas is too high.
The fact that you have a car, a job, money to buy that coffee and that gas becomes lost in the chaos of life.
I, myself, have always been a simple chick. Life has thrown me into multiple storms which has led me to always be grateful…not just for surviving the storms, but for the storms themselves. A sense of gratitude, of being thankful for what you have in life, for the people in your life was one of the most important lessons my parents taught me growing up. As I grew older that lesson went beyond having good manners and saying “thank you”, it grew from a word to a realism.
Life is about making it your own and creating so many memories that when you’re an adorably wrinkly 87 year old reminiscing with your partner that you can’t remember every adventure, but you definitely remember that you lived your life. This past year alone I’ve gone to the movies and out to eat with family and friends, I have gone to a couple of concerts, published a book and am close to publishing another, I’ve had adventures at the beach, perused bookstores and of course been at the coffee shops. Every day that I am given, every opportunity that life offers me…
I am truly thankful for all of it.
However, that sense of thankfulness runs much deeper when my heart sinks as I witness block after block of homeless men, women, children and Veterans setting up their makeshift tents for the night down in L.A.. My heart breaks when I see teenagers on street corners with signs asking for food. To know that there are over 100,000 kids in the system, to know that 1 in 4 kids goes without food. This puts knots in my stomach.
See, the fact that you have a place to call home, a car to transport you places or money to purchase necessities and wants isn’t an attachment of life, they’re privileges. The fact that I am sitting on a comfy couch, writing this blog on my laptop while watching Beat Bobby Flay and sipping a coffee are all privileges. The fact that it is 62* outside and I’m surrounded by walls and a roof, dressed in warm clean clothes are privileges. Privileges that I am so grateful for and I wish that everyone had the same… I wish that no one went without a home, clean warm clothes, food, hot water.
Perhaps rush hour traffic, waiting 10 minutes in line or gas prices really aren’t that horrible. Maybe we can work on taking that sense of being thankful beyond November and December, take it into all the 12 months of the year. Maybe we can focus more on having gratitude for the small comforts in life instead of allowing them to be taken for granted. Maybe we can do more to help those less fortunate by donating to a cause, buying a meal for that hungry person on the corner, giving whatever spare change or even a few bucks without judgement, lend a helping hand. Show compassion and kindness towards everyone.
Remember, we are all human and you are no better than anyone else. Money and materialistic gains doesn’t place you on a higher pedestal than the homeless man on the street.
Help a fellow human…human kindness.