Gratitude And Happiness.

Last week, as part of the Thanksgiving messages going around the internet I got this on FaceBook:

I strongly believe that this is true and as my readers who have been with me for some time know, I am one thankful dude. (Tammy, how do you like the description?) I shared the image on my page on FB and my friend Nandu had this to say about it.

“Nice one and got me going again I am afraid! (Nandu is a gifted orator who can wax eloquent on any subject.)

Sadly there are so many people who have SO MUCH to be thankful for (applies to most of us if not all on FB at least) and yet are unhappy! I always advice the moaners around me ” Just visit a hospital – or a slum or deep rural areas – and walk around for 1/2 hour to realise how lucky you are – even marvel at the spirit and positive attitude of the seriously ( even terminally ) ill and maimed.” Some might object saying it smacks of “contentment with a mediocre/sub-optimal existence”, not happiness or those stuck in abject poverty. But that precisely is about people working hard to preserve their state of unhappiness and wallowing in misplaced self pity!

I sometimes marvel at the people of especially our country who are poor ( by any definition , except our Governments, and who do not have any “social security” net worth talking about) and yet smile & laugh & share, poor and yet DO NOT resort to crime (more than can be said of the rich and famous!) , poor and yet proud , poor and yet hope & dream , poor and yet have the courage (not ignorance ) to have children ( especially a girl child ) despite an uncertain future for them – many somehow educating them so that they do not inherit the same fetters of misfortune and go on to lead better lives in a cruel world !

They fully realise that only a pitiful few become “slumdog millionaires” or even come anywhere close to it or have Dame Luck smile upon them once in a while . Disparaging as some of us “better off intellectuals” are of Bollywood “formula” film genre , at least it transports these people into a dream world for a couple of hours for a few rupees – brief respite from a harsh inescapable existence!

In this scenario “charity” (in any form, even giving time) by the relatively well-off is hardly an optional or discretionary act of “do gooding ” – it is an obligation that transcends being Thankful (to God or Fate or whatever) and makes our short existence on the planet a bit more meaningful and just…we owe it!

Narsi Bhagat’s poem so loved by Mahatma Gandhi puts it beautifully.

Vaishnav Jan to tene kahiye jay peerh paraaye janneyray;

He who understands the pain of others is one of God’s own.
Helping others in need, he or she does not gloat in pride.

This person respects all people in the world, and does not condemn or criticize anyone.
He or she is pure in speech, deed and thought. Mother of such person is blessed indeed!

He is equanimous and has given up all desires. To him, other women are [equivalent to] mothers.
He or she never speaks a lie, and does not covet others’ wealth.

Delusion and attachment do not affect him or her, with mind firm in detachment.
Such a person is ever engrossed in meditation of God, and embodies all places of pilgrimage.

Such a person has no greed or deceit, and has overcome lust and anger.
Narsi says: Such a person is worthy of worship, and alone elevates his entire race”

30 thoughts on “Gratitude And Happiness.”

  1. I’ve always liked the story about twenty people coming together in a room bringing all their troubles so that they can trade off with another. And when it comes time to leave, they decline to trade their bags of ills for anyone else’s.
    thankfulness is the key to happiness. No question.

    wisewebwoman recently posted..Going Off Half-Cocked.

  2. This is a good reminder for me. I tend to focus on the ills and negativity in my life that I fail to see just how lucky I am. Sigh. No matter how bad I have it, there are still so much to be thankful for in my life. And undergoing these trials make me appreciate the joys in life more. And I promise to do what I can for those who have it worse than me.
    Credit Donkey recently posted..Half Suspect Theyve Been Regifted

  3. i love that description rummy!
    and also the 4th paragraph you wrote. those are the truly enlightened people in this world. poverty is a relative term indeed. they are rich in spirit. beautiful thoughts.

  4. Interesting thoughts Rummuser. While I agree that more people need to find a way to be thankful for what they have, I understand why they’re not. It’s hard judging one’s life in the context of someone else’s life, no matter if it’s better or worse. I tend to think that kind of thing, for the most part, comes with age if one has been brought up to be able to discern such things. Here in the states, it seems those days are gone, and it’s a shame because we see that we have a society of “me only” people taking over.

    Still, I was thankful for having what I had on Thanksgiving Day here last Thursday, which was basically life.

    1. Me only phenomenon is universal now Mitch. With the death of the USSR and the Chinese giving up communism, we can now see how humans behave under free market and capitalist systems. There is no idealism left anywhere!

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