Never Take Anything For Granted!

Lesson number: 

Unfortunately we all have a tendency to accentuate and discuss every event and interaction we engage in daily that seems to go wrong in our lives. Perhaps we are trained by the news media which accentuates the negative, because it seems more interesting and holds a viewer's attention more than a positive story. The news media focuses on deaths, disasters, disease and discomforting stories which can easily lead an individual to feeling a little depressed. After viewing thirty minutes of an Evening News broadcast, did you ever wonder if anything went right in the world during that day?

The unfortunate by-product of stressing all that's negative about of life is the tendency to take all that's good about our lives for granted. If we were to compare the lifestyles of Americans, Japanese or Europeans to those of the impoverished nations of West Africa, it would be difficult to believe that the former group of countries would have anything to complain about at all. We take so many things for granted each day. Things like our government, our schools, our food, our roads, and all those comforts found in and around our homes.

How often have you heard complaints about our government? Nothing is perfect in this world, however would you want to trade places with the billions of people in this world who live under tyrannical leaders? Or would you like to send your children to schools in places like Afghanistan? How about eating the same diet as the average person in Africa or China? Or instead of putting up with the traffic we always complain about, how would you like to travel 100 miles on a dirt road in China?

Since we are used to having all these "things" we seem to feel as though we are entitled to them as human beings. There are many people on this planet who don't even have a roof over their heads when they sleep or running water and bathtubs. In our country, children feel deprived if they don't have a private bathroom, a PC in their bedrooms to go along with their phone, TV, VCR/DVD player and much more. Are you saying at this point – So what's the point?

My contention for this lesson is that we all have to sit back from time to time; take a deep breath; and ponder about the abundance we are already blessed with in our lives before looking for more and more to things to purchase in an effort to seek more happiness.

Along with the material things we take for granted, how about our senses, well being, jobs and relationships? When we are young, we all expect our eyesight, hearing, and senses of smell, taste and touch to be perfect. However, as we age, these senses may not be as sharp as they once were. Until you lose your eyesight or your ability to hear properly, you will probably take these senses for granted. This relates to all health problems that come with aging or accidents – and we should always count our blessings while everything in our body works properly. Never, take your good health for granted. Guard your health and nurture it as though it were the crown jewels of life.

Next let's look at our jobs. How many people do you know love their jobs? Everyone is always talking about what's bad about their jobs all the time. They complain that they don't make enough; they work too long; they don't get enough time off; they have insensitive employers; or they can't stand their co-workers. Then one day they lose their job and after they no longer have a place to work – all they used to complain about doesn't seem so bad anymore. Yet while they worked there, they took what they had for granted instead of trying to make their situation better each and every day.

Lastly, who doesn't complain about their relationships with their parents, spouses, kids or in-laws? It's always easier to find what's wrong with these relationships than what's great about them. Until someone dies, gets divorced or estranged with someone, they usually take their relationships for granted. This is quite unfortunate, because happiness in life should be derived from valuing and treasuring all we discussed above – every day while we have it all. Don't wait until you lose something, to place a high value on what you once had. It's impossible to go back in time and fix what you took for granted and lost. So appreciate, treasure and nurture all that you have been blessed with in life. Strive to make each day better than the last. And cut back on your daily news consumption. Then watch your attitude and life improve!