Gratitude is a source of great strength and it could lead to experience of eternal bliss. The question is, how to cultivate it? We could start by adopting a rational perspective of things around us.
Rational perspective is to be grateful for what you were fortunate to get without looking at or complaining about what you could not get or should have got. It means to become aware that in any given situation in our life, we are better placed than many around us, even though there may be others far more privileged than what we are.
It is true, in any given situation, we are better off than many around us and for this we should be thankful to the Divine, without whose will, nothing can move.
For a minute when we look around, we will realise that we are blessed with numerous bounties which others will not have. We should acknowledge this and keep feeling gratitude.
Most of us do not have the insight to visualise situations in which life is much harder, tougher and painful than in which we happen to be.
If we are only looking at what others have and we don’t have, we will remain dissatisfied forever, simply because even after getting what we desire, our mind will hanker after something else, and several new desires will crop up. This is because instead of being happy and content, we are always wanting more and more of something or other.
It is this habit of remaining dissatisfied which creates unhappiness, and this bottled up sadness sometimes makes us take extreme steps. Instead of whining about what we don’t have, we should direct our energy towards what we can do with whatever we have. This will help us in overcoming our shortcomings by sheer grit and determination. Any person or society lacking in gratitude could be bereft of moral values.
When we stop damning ourselves for not being wealthier and more successful than what we are, when in some corner of our heart we have a space for those who are relatively less privileged, when we remain grateful to the Divine for the countless good things we have and experience, before nurturing big expectations from somebody when we are humble enough to ask ourselves ‘what have I done for him?’ – the happiness which then flows is enduring and divine. A Chinese proverb says it all so poignantly: ‘I stopped asking God for a pair of shoes when I saw a man without feet….’
The individual who decides to be happy and who has learnt to be contented and satisfied, such a man can never be overtaken by unhappiness and the resultant impulsive behaviour. So it is a good idea to learn to be grateful for all that life offers to us, and also express that thankfulness in different ways in which we relate to others and to situations.
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