in the current time, being grateful is one of the most important human quality. nowadays many people takes things for granted. we don’t realize how many people work behind the scene so that we get to live a comfortable life. when we are ungrateful then we don’t value the sacrifice of those people who have sacrificed their life so that there is end to wars, slavery, famine and there is peace and freedom in the world.
gratitude is one quality which keeps us away from ego and grounded in reality. a grateful person is rich from within. he knows god has showered him with more wealth than what he deserve. truly speaking we own nothing, because we come to this earth empty handed and will go back empty handed. in this journey of life, we must appreciate and share the richness which god has showered on all of us.
gratitude is the way to thank god for all his blessings. when you show your gratitude in life then it helps the other person but it also gives you a lot in return. as when you are grateful then you are humble, content and happy. you open your heart and become a instrument of god to bring blessing in others life.
how to practice gratitude in life:
1. accept yourself totally
charity always begins at home. if you really want to be a grateful person, then accept yourself totally. so that you can show your gratefulness to god for giving this opportunity to live life. once you can accept yourself with all your flaws then you can easily accept others as they are. accept yourself, love yourself and be yourself. a loving person is the greatest blessing to the world (read here – buddha, rumi, krishna, meera, chaitanya mahaprabhu, guru nanak, osho, jesus and ramakrishna).
2. reverence for life
life is precious. in his arrogance, man can kill someone but he cannot revive a dead person. only god can give life. so be respectful for this great gift of life. don’t take your life for granted and respect this opportunity to grow within.
at the same time, respect the life which is flowing in others. be vegetarian, as it does not kill anybody and also good for living a spiritual life. help someone who is injured in an road accident. be respectful to all irrespective of their age, religion or social status.
3. respect for food, mother earth and the ecological balance
food nourishes your body and is vital for your survival as well as for a healthy body and mind. so never waste food. if you have extra then feed a hungry soul.
in hinduism, anything which nourishes your life is revered and respected. so hindus who still follow the traditional way of living, give lot of respect to food, water, mother earth, sky and fire. they also give respect to the plants which have medicinal values or are very beneficial like neem, tulsi (holy basil), amla, peepal, mango, coconut and so on. they also protect and give respect to animals because they are useful in their life. e.g cow for giving milk and manure, snakes for protecting the crops from rats and so on.
this teaching is very valuable in current time when we are ruthlessly destroying our forests, killing animals and poisoning our natural resources. the idea behind the hindus reverence for rivers, mountains, wind, sea, plants, animals etc is to be grateful to everything which nourishes and support the life. so have respect for food, for the mother earth which gives us this food and for the ecological balance of earth which we are spoiling with our greed to have a better lifestyle.
4. giving back to society
there are many ways you can contribute to the society. e.g. you can sponsor a child education or plant trees or participate in social activities. you can help to keep your surrounding clean. you can spread awareness about global warming, pollution and the need to support green earth movement. to know more ways, you can check this post – small things you can do to help the world.
5. act of kindness
a life really lived is filled with many small moments of joy and contentment. everyday you will come across many moments when you can make someone happy or accepted. giving a smile or a genuine compliment does not take much from you but it gives so much to the other person. there are many such ways like thanking the other person when he has really done a good job. giving a generous tip or writing a positive review makes the real difference in other person life.
your small acts of kindness can be a life changer for others e.g. during summers you can keep water for birds and animals. you can donate your old clothes to charity or to poor people. there are thousand and one ways you can make a difference in other people life. but the key thing is that you should be willing to walk that extra step of helping others. will you?
remember – no act of kindness goes waste, no matter how small it is. in the end, what matters is your genuine feeling to help others.