On the ninth day of the Chinese Lunar New year , the Chinese of ‘Hokkien’ ancestry will be praying to the ‘Heavenly God’ giving thanks for the protection accorded to their ancestors when they were persecuted and nearly totally annihilated. It is also the time they give thanks to the ‘Heaven;y God’ for the good health, the good things they have enjoyed during the past one year. This day is similar to the ‘Thanksgiving Day’ celebrated by the Americans.
In the past, when I tried to think of what I have to be thankful for, to be grateful about, nothing much really come to mind.
Now when I take the time out to ponder on it, I find there are many things that had simply skipped my mind. There are, in fact, many, many things for which I need to express gratefulness for! I have taken plenty for granted, this shouldn’t be the case. Now that I am aware of how fortunate I have been and am, I will be ever mindful of this good fortune and will give thanks daily.
My Blessings :
“Health is wealth” – I have heard this since I was in my early teens but it didn’t register or make any impression on me. The truth of this saying was finally realized when I myself walked past the half century mark. At this stage of life it finally dawned on me that I did not have the same strength and agility I used to possess in my younger years. Seeing my contemporaries and those older than myself struck down by illnesses and sicknesses confirmed the truth of this phrase. Health is really wealth, you may be the richest person in the world but if your health is feeble you won’t be able to enjoy what your wealth can get you, this is a fact.
Family – Having a partner who is a self-sacrificing wife and mother is a great gift to any man and I am one of those lucky men. Usually a man and wife spend more than half of their life-spans with each other. Pity is a man who has to spend half a life time stuck with a nagging, demanding and self-centered woman. Just imagine what a living hell that is. I thank my lucky star I am spare that.
– Having children can be a great source of happiness or it can be just a great a source of pain and suffering for the parents. Though I have my ups and downs with my children, they have never been a source of great pain and suffering for me. This I count as a blessing having seen what some unlucky parents had gone through. It is also a blessing that they are all healthy and full command of their faculties. Their health is also my wealth and the wealth of the family.
If I have lived to this age and cannot claimed to have some good friends then I could not consider to have live a very meaningful life. Fortunately there are a few who have openly professed to be my friends, to them I want to say I consider this one of the blessings in my life. I would like to thank them for this privilege. To have their respect I am most honored and I treasure my friendship with them. Words could not adequately express my appreciation of their concerns and love.
Extended family members
In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that if ever two persons were to meet then there must be affinity between them (here). To be able to become family members this must be even more so. I treasure the positive synergy generated when there are problems confronting any member of the family. The gaiety and merriment that flow out of any happy gatherings is something to be experienced to be appreciated. I enjoy all these. Of course with more people in the family there bound to have its squabbles and frictions but in the end the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. The support, concern and closeness when these relatives close ranks are what I appreciate most.
There are many things that are so ordinary, so common that they have been taken for granted. Pondering on them convinced me that they should not be so taken.
Roof over my head
Television has shrunken the world, what is happening in one part of the world can be instantaneously seen in all the other parts of the world. We now know that there are many people in many parts of the world who do not have a roof over their heads. I count the roof over my head as a blessing given me, I count myself extremely lucky.
Many of us, the fortunate ones, have never experienced empty stomachs or have to go without cloth to shield us from the cold. We not only have ample food, we also have nutritious foods, and just in case we do not have a balanced diet we have vitamin supplements. We not only have clothes, we have expensive and stylish clothes. Many children, men and women go about without shoes, we not only have shoes, we can choose what color of shoes we would wear each day, our toddlers go about in branded-shoes. I will never abuse this privilege any more, I will be mindful of my blessings.
No financial obligations/burdens
Such financial obligations and burdens have destroyed many men who have to shoulder them. The hardship caused by them have broken the spirits of even the hardiest of men. Circumstances and luck have conspired to bring them sorrows and pain but they have conspired to bring me peace of mind and ease of life. I am truly blessed.
Those of us who have always enjoy the freedom to move about, to do what we like, practice what we believe have often take these as our natural rights. Here I am talking about the freedom we enjoy as individuals and the freedom afforded us because of our good health. Many things come together to bring about the flowering of this freedom, so I should definitely consider this as one of the blessings.
Comforts of life
I own a car which I use to travel about whereas many people in many other parts of the world and even in my country have to move about with their own two legs. I have air-conditioners not only in my car and the hall in my house but also in my bedroom. I not only have clean water to drink, I also have hot water facilities to make myself hot drinks, and to bathe in. I have computers and lap-tops, mobile phone, television set, washing machine and clothe drying machine and other modern facilities and amenities that create a comfortable and pleasant life for me and my family . Millions of our fellow beings are out there are scavenging for their very existence every day. Am I not blessed?
Peace of mind
Many men and women have troubled minds. They find their lives directionless and empty. I am fortunate to have found my spiritual direction. My life is free free financial worries, of physical ailments and from mental anguishes. My mind is peaceful and I am contented. This is really priceless. This is wealth, this is health!
What I was given
Time tends to obscure many things from our past from even ourselves. Pondering on gratefulness allows many of the blessings which I have forgotten to surface:
I had a pair of loving parents who provided love and who made sacrifices for me and my siblings. They were the one who instill the right values in us. These values provided the foundations that built traits and characters in me that steered me into the path, the direction I have embarked on. The strengths and resilience that allow me to navigate thus far come from all this.
A good habit
One of the habits I have managed to develop is the habit of reading. This I consider the best habit I have acquired and this has turned out to be my greatest blessing! The teachings, advices, wisdom, knowledge, truths, principles, observations, expertise and facts in the books have given me the solutions to meet my challenges along the way. I have learned a lot from these books and I am indebted to all the authors whose works had helped me.
Through his hard work and sacrifices my father had had provided me an education which serves me well. I am what I am today is all due to the education that was given me through the blood, sweats and tears of my father. I count this as a significant blessing to be born into this pair of parents.
I had the good fortune to secure a job that I enjoyed working in. It provided security, challenges and personal growth for me. For the family it provided financial security where all my financial obligations could be taken care of and this gave us plenty of emotional stability and peace of mind.
Throughout my life I always have ‘guiding angels’ watching over me. When young, at the time when my father was struggling with the burdens and responsibilities of a big family thrust upon his shoulders , there came a benefactor who provided help to my father thus ironing out the hardships we were facing then. Many ‘angels’ appeared to help me through my growing years and in my adult life. These ‘angels’ guided and helped me along the way with advices, insights, some throwing challenges to make me grow. Some appeared in person but some came through as authors of books. The benefits derived from these ‘angels’ are immeasurable.
Peers have undisputed sway over us when we are young, peer pressure is hard to shake. I was lucky to have decent peers when I was young. They had decent habits and good values which kept them on the straight path. It is to their credit they did not lead me astray. Many young lives have been ruined by peers who had led them astray.
I write this not to get your solicit your respect or to impress you. I do this to ‘count my blessings’ and to remind myself to give thanks each day! Many people tend to go through their days unmindful of their good fortune each day, I was no different.
We should keep this good habit of giving thanks, we should not lose it, we should pass it down to the younger generations.
Care to share your ‘gratefulness’ stories?