If you’re a religious person, thanksgiving comes along with the rest of the package. Not the holiday, just the act of giving thanks, of being grateful. Prayers, trips to a chosen place of worship, rituals and offerings, they all have an element of gratitude woven into them. That’s not to say that everyone doing it is actually truly grateful, but at least they go through the motions. For the not-so-religious people like me, it becomes necessary to take a more conscious approach to gratitude, to actively say thanks once in a while. Not jut for all the material things in life (which do matter a lot), but for all the things I sometimes take for granted, the things that happened out of my control that I can’t take credit for, all the bits and bobs that have led me to where I am. These things strike most when I come across someone who doesn’t have one or more of these things, and I realise how much better off I am. We tell people, “Be happy, someone is worse off than you.” This really doesn’t apply to everyone, but it does to me, because I have so much to be thankful for:
For loving parents, truly caring siblings and a niece who I love and who loves me. (I often forget how very crucial and totally out of our hands this is – you don’t get to choose family.)
For growing up comfortably without major upheavals.
For having functional use of my body and brain.
For being lucky enough to finish my education fuss-free.and work
For being and work steadily and keep my mind occupied in productive activity.
For being able to make ends meet.
For having the financial support to take risks.
For the luxury of time and money to pursue interests and hobbies.
For the freedom to pursue my dreams and goals and to chart my own path in life.
For not being forced into the idea of marriage and children.
For having the capacity to think and make rational, reasonable decisions.
For the good fortune of not falling prey to problems like depression or addiction.
For the good people in my life (friends, teachers, colleagues), and for being lucky enough to get rid of the bad influences.
I know it’s become a huge joke now and we make fun of millennials for doing it, sometimes you just have to say it and mean it as sincerely as possible (which I do) – I truly am (hashtag) blessed.