Life is precious indeed. I have so much to be grateful for. I was just reading Shawn Achor‘s article this morning about the Happiness Advantage as I was on OWN reading on the “21 Days to Happiness” course and the “7 Happiness Habits“. A couple of things I learned is that happiness is a choice and that it definitely has a favorable effect on our mental health. However, though a lot of people are more focused on the quest for “happiness” over the last decade, I’m more interested in a “life of meaning” or purpose which is connected to “altruism”. I guess it’s just how our parents raised us, to be of service to others. Anyway, these articles I was reading happen to mention a link between happiness and the habit of being grateful.
So I began writing on my Gratitude Journal, I started with being grateful that my family (loved ones) is SAFE, alive, healthy. You see, I thank God every day for this but the last few days have been extra special. Just last week, a very close friend of mine called me. She was crying hysterically, I could barely understand what she was saying. She was trying to tell me that there were homicide detectives at her home. They bore the worst news that any parent would dread to hear in their lifetime. The detectives told her that they found her son’s dead body. He was in his early 20’s, just finished college not too long ago and just had a baby. Apparently it was a robbery that went bad. They took his valuables and his car and he fought for his life. He had a lot of defensive wounds on his arms. It was obvious that he fought for his life. My friend said he was a good child who never gave her any problems. Never got in trouble. Did all the right things. He just went out to go to the bank and never came back. Then we turn on the TV and see what’s going on in the world, the mass shooting in Orlando, suicide bombers in Istanbul airport, then another terrorist attack in Bangladesh at a restaurant frequented by expats within a few days apart. The victims at the airport were just traveling for the summer or picking up family or friends, or just working there. They didn’t think for one second that they were not coming back from that airport when they left home…
Another thing that I feel so grateful for is that I managed to get to this age. I’m in my 40’s and I feel healthy and young and vibrant. God gave me a chance to see my children graduate and start a career path. I feel so blessed! I have so much to look forward to… volunteer, eventually earn my doctorate degree, travel the world, live in an ashram, be a change agent, help eliminate the stigma of mental health disorders, etc. The possibilities are endless.
We don’t ever know if TODAY would be the LAST time that we’ll be able to hug our children… to kiss our significant other(s)… to say “I love you” or “I’m sorry” to a loved one… or do something good for a stranger or touch someone’s life… make a difference… be the change… take that chance now.
LIVE LAUGH … BELLE PAPILLON