The clock was pointing to 9 at night. The streets were almost empty except for the cars. The weather was freezing and the temperature was -7 degrees Celsius. You do not want to be outside your home or even outside of your car in this weather.
I was driving my car on the way back home when I was stopped by a traffic light turning red. And there he was. As I looked from my window, I found on the other side of the street a blind man who is trying to cross the street but he was struggling because he was not able to locate exactly the right area for pedestrians to cross, and also because he was scared that he may get hit by a car. I looked at him not knowing what to do. Should I leave my car in the middle of the street and go and help him? But what about the other drivers behind me in the street. I thought for some seconds but my thinking period was over when I saw that he is in real need of help. As I was just about to open my car door I found that he already found his way, and crossed the street. And in this moment, two different emotional thoughts struck me.
‘’I should have gone and helped him directly instead of waiting these few seconds concerned and worried about the pressure from the other drivers,’’ I said to myself. ‘’I wonder what he feels walking alone in the streets at night in this coldness with no one to help or guide him. I wonder how he will continue walking and find his destination. I wonder how he feels each day trying to depend on himself in this hard journey in order not to put pressure on anyone around him. I wonder if he has a family or kids and if he had the chance ever to see how they look like. I wonder…..’’
It’s really ironic that sometimes we really do not value the things that we get for free. And it’s more ironic that the value of the things we have, drop gradually with time. Or at least that’s how we see them.
In the same moment that you are depressed because you did not hit your target at work, or passed for a promotion, or are not able to buy the car or the house of your dreams, or earn enough money from your job, you forget that you have hundreds of other gifts and blessings that you do not consider of huge value just because you have them already, or because you got them for free.
In the same moment that you can see, someone else cannot and is willing to pay any price to see for one second again. And while you feel depressed that you are living in a small apartment or that you cannot buy the house of your dreams, someone else is sleeping in the street and is wishing for just one room no matter where it is.
Now, please understand me right. What I wrote does not mean that I am telling you not to be ambitious and to look forward to improving your life. What I mean is that besides being ambitious you have to be grateful for what you have. Grateful for all the gifts that you were born with and nobody asked you to pay any price for them. Grateful that you are able to walk, talk, think, decide and see.
So here is the action for today. Spend some minutes at the beginning of each day thinking and writing on a piece of paper 3-5 things that you are grateful for. And I promise you, you will discover that you have A LOT but because you are focusing on some specific things, you are not able to see what you have really got. Doing this exercise consistently, will not only improve your sense of gratitude, but it will also make you feel more positive and happier and will bring more peace to your life. But this is only if you did this exercise consistently.
Originally published at www.mohamedhanbal.com