Nov 19, 2008, 7:26 AM
Most people agree that being grateful is important if we are to have a positive life. Being grateful makes us see the bright side of life that turns us into positive people. Unfortunately, we often look at what we don't have instead of what we have, and we end up complaining instead of being grateful.
The enemy of being grateful is taking something for granted. Taking something for granted makes us forget how miserable it would be if we didn't have it.
Sometimes we need to experience a loss to be able to appreciate what we have, but one would better not wait until that happens; we should learn to appreciate the things we have without first experiencing a loss.
If you read war time stories, you will realize how terrible the situation was. Lives were lost so easily. Pain, suffering, and poverty were everywhere.
That we live in peace is a great blessing. Many people lose their loved ones. Many people don't even know their father and mother. So be grateful if you have yours.
Sometimes we need to be sick to understand the blessing of being healthy. In the past, life expectancy was very low - it was only 20-35 years in most of human history.
The main cause was not war, but unhealthy environment (coupled with poor medical technologies). Now you have far better environment to live in. Besides having better environment, now you have much better medical technologies.
Just a simple example: you have anesthetics. Can you imagine going through surgery without anesthetic? That's how people did it for thousands of years.
Having electricity is so simple that we forget how our life would be without it. Just take a moment to imagine it. You will perhaps lose 90% of your conveniences if that happened. Have you ever experienced turning on your computer only to find that it didn't work and the data were gone, you can send an email or an instant message and get it delivered in seconds.
Even kings in the past didn't have a fraction of what you have now. You have television, movies, and electronic games, just to name a few.
You can learn anything you want instantly through the Internet. In the past people might have to travel thousands of miles to find the right libraries.