Seeing the Gifts of Life
The first virtue of Gratitude is your capacity and choice to SEE the gifts of life.
When you open your heart, mind and eyes to see the positive forces of life, the glass half-filled, the beauty of this world and the miracles that take place in each moment of your existence; then you ACTIVATE the first virtue of Gratitude because you RECOGNIZE what you have been given.
NOTE: In the next Daily Inspirational Words for this week, I am revealing the other four virtues, one a day.
Imagine that you are walking down a street in your neighborhood. This is a street that you and most of your neighbors walk every day. But some of this neighbors recognize the gifts in the street and others do not.
- The latter walk past the beautiful roses in the garden of a brightly painted pink stucco house without looking up.
- They walk past the grandmother rocking in the rocking chair of her porch, knitting socks for her tiny dog while she sings of times long gone, but they don’t see the socks or hear the rak-rak of the chair. They don’t hear the song or the dog howling to its tune.
- They next past the restaurant where the owner, a dog-lover, has put out a large bowl for the dogs in the neighborhood and is right now replenishing it. But since they are not walking a thirsty dog, they don’t get it.
- Now they go pass a shop that displays bright organic vegetables, beaming with health. But they are in a hurry, so they don’t even see the food.
- As they cross the street, the semaphores count downs to let them know how long they have. They scurry along, rushing to the other side.
- Finally, the pass the school yard, oblivious to the laughter of the children playing and singing.
These neighbors cannot be grateful for the experience of this walk. In fact, they are pissed off and see it as a waste of time, regretting that they did not take out the car instead of walking. The more they walk, the more irritated they are.
But the neighbors that allow themselves to SEE the gifts in this street have a totally different experience.
- As they see the beautiful pink, red and white roses in the garden, they inhale the fragrance and feel the calming and inspiring effect immediately. Their walk slows down and their eyes glow at the sight of the brightly painted pink stucco house in the middle of all the brown brick homes. A burst of creativity and passion fills their body as they walk.
- They look up at the next house because they know that grandmother will be swinging in her rocking chair; and sure enough there she is in the old porch, knitting socks for her tiny dog. She reminds them of their grandma and a wave of love streams through their heart at the memory. They pay attention to her song, and as they do, they recognize stories and popular sayings that portray a time where everything was slower, when there were more trees and less buildings and again their stride slows down to visit a bit of history. As they pass the house, the god joins the song, howling to its tune and they can’t hold a big laughter. They now feel replenished.
- They next past the restaurant where the owner, a dog-lover, has put out a large bowl for the dogs in the neighborhood and is right now replenishing it. They stop to say hi and thanks and meet one of their neighbors, whose dog is now happily drinking. They are happy to know about this good neighbor who they have not met in a while.
- They are now smiling and strolling joyfully as they walk pass the organic vegetables, beaming with health. They seize the moment, before the veggies are gone, to shop for the brightest, freshest spinach, radishes and pepper.
- Now they cross the street, happy to have good veggies for lunch, when the semaphores lets them know that they have 9 seconds to cross. Isn’t that nice? They don’t have to rush!
- Finally, they pass the school yard and smile from ear to ear as they hear the laughter of the children playing and singing. They remember when they, as children, sang that same song. They remember how their children sing it. And they are beaming with joy!
The walk through this street has been a blessing for these neighbors. They recognized each of the gifts and therefore the walk is a boost of gratitude and joy.
Tomorrow: The second virtue of Gratitude: Appreciation