If you haven’t listened to Prince Ea’s spoken poetry about gratitude, please do now. I came across it a few months ago, and I am still thinking about it today. Although I had a similar mindset to Ea’s before, hearing this powerful message come from someone else — with such poise and affective delivery — has had a much greater impact on me.
The 20-minute walk home from work every day results in a lot of talking to myself. So sure enough, after watching this video, I caught myself voicing all the things I am grateful for during my next stroll home. This instantly caused a dopey smile to creep up my face and settle in, making it easier to excuse the strange looks received for gallivanting down the road, grinning from ear to ear, and chatting about something… alone. The best part, though, is I was still coming up with things well after I had checked my mailbox, trudged up five flights of stairs and stepped inside my apartment.
Of course I am forever and always gracious for my health, my family, etc. But this is a list of the simpler things which I currently find meaningful:
My feet: This was first on my list because I was using them so intently at the time. I was walking home from work, which was giving me time to myself to think about things I’m thankful for. So really if it wasn’t for my feet, I may have never written this. There’s also that other thing your feet enable you to do called dancing… which I’m pretty amazing at as I’ve had “the robot” and the “moon walk” mastered for years. So THANK YOU FEET for allowing me to share this gift with the world. Cue JT dance break.
Wine articles: The ones that pop up on social media about how healthy it is to regularly drink red wine.
Cherry tomatoes and showers: I never liked either of them before. Now I can’t get enough of either. It’s a mystery — doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo (read to the tune of The Twilight Zone).
Hair (growth): I recently cut off a big chunk of my hair, and although I’m lovin’ the new do, I am grateful for hair’s remarkable ability to grow back. Apparently my students cherish hair too, because when I brought the chopped off tail to work, they went berserk. Not because it looked like a rat, but because they wanted to stroke it and smell it and keep it forever.
Kid massages: Ever had anyone ASK to give you a massage? Neither did I. Until I was surrounded by kids 24/7! I have had an entire class of seven kids lay me down on my classroom floor in order to give me a full body massage. You might think their hands are too weak and small to do any good, but the gentle touch of those baby soft paws goes a long way.
The sun: After living in all four seasons for the first time ever and learning what an actual winter coat is, I am proof of your stereotypical, spoiled-with-two-seasons, Arizona girl. I was never aware of just how weather-inexperienced I am, but I am A-OK with keeping it that way.
Spring flowers: Ok, so there are quite a few things I like about experiencing all the season changes, and one of them is seeing the flowers come and go right before your eyes! It’s as miraculous as child birth. Better yet, walking past these flowers is like walking by a Bath and Body Works that doesn’t give you a headache. Nostril heaven!
Social media: Yep. You read that right. Even though I use social media quite often (you wouldn’t be reading this otherwise), the initial thoughts that come to mind when the topic is brought up are negative. It takes us away from the present, it ruins our ability to socialize in person, it creates a false reality, yada yada yada. Well, the other day I decided to take my time while scrolling. Genius ol’ me found that when I actually viewed the videos and read articles shared, I felt inspired, hopeful, and more educated. I learned that people are doing incredible things, like building houses out of water bottles, generating self-made energy, joining forces to combat climate change, and much more. It is often said that social media results in a lot of posting and not a lot of doing, and that could be true. BUT… at least people are starting important conversations in hopes of sparking action in people who will take it. When logging off that day, I was surprisingly filled with faith for society — that no matter what happens in our future, no matter who becomes president lol, we will use our super human capabilities to unite and prevail. In no way, shape or form do I think social media is the answer to the world’s issues; I just think it’s necessary to look on the positive side of this thing that can easily tear us down, yet is always at the palm of our hands. So for those who have no interest in it, keep doin’ your thang sans social media. For those who can use is as a tool to make a difference, carry on.
Friends: No one is in charge of your happiness but you. Agreed. But having great friends can make that happiness double the fun. I know that sounds obvious, and I am about to sound like an ass, but I completely underestimated the power and value of friendship until venturing off to a foreign country where I had to start from zero. Although I’ve had some irreplaceable friends in my life, only now at 22 years old, do I wholeheartedly realize how much I appreciate them and how important it is to show them this appreciation. To all my fabulous friends out there: Thank you. I love you.
Everything else: American singer/songwriter, Kina Grannis, recently wrote an article on her website including the following: “25 Things I Learned From Being Trapped in Jakarta for 100 Days.” Due to having invalid work visas while on tour in Indonesia, her band was held captive by immigration. They waited hopelessly for days on end until they were finally called to court. They were found guilty and sentenced with a hefty fine and 8 months probation from home, brining a huge sigh of relief and tears of joy as they dodged the alternative: jail sentence in Indonesia. Anywho, this is the very first point on her list of 25 things she learned from the experience:
“If you’re still breathing, you have something to be grateful for. Gratitude is the key to everything.”
You can interpret gratitude however you choose, but to me, it’s a simple equation.
More gratitude = More love = A more perfect life
If you love the world, the world will love you back. I don’t mean to dive into cliche hippy-dippy land here, but the list of things to be grateful for never ends. The good and the bad, embrace it all, give thanks to all. Love will take care of the rest <3