Saturday, February 26, 2011

Being thankful

Due to recent events unfolding at work, I've been thinking a lot about complaining. As I am married to a British man, he uses the word "moaning" to describe whining, criticising, nitpicking, etc, which I think it hilarious and fits very well.

The thing about this post is that while I am bringing this to light, I am the worst offender in this area. I am the person who will ask for another cup of coffee if it's not the right temperature... I am starting to realise more and more that people like me are actually quite annoying. On the other hand, I will voice my appreciation for people, things, thoughtful acts, etc. So maybe describing me as 'vocal' would be more accurate.

The interesting thing is that the Bible has quite a bit to say about complaining. The opposite to complaining is being thankful. I am no Jewish scholar, but love to learn more about the traditions in the Jewish culture from the little bits and pieces that are available for information. One of these is that Jews consciously thank God for things that are easy to take for granted. Here is a beautiful post about it.

"the day starts off with gratefulness. In the morning blessings we thank G-d for a whole bunch of things which are easy to take for granted: the ability to make distinctions (like between night and day), vision, clothing, freedom, being able to stand upright, water, shoes, strength and energy to live another day.." Torah Tuesdays, Er, Thursday: Being Thankful

I absolutely love it. It seems like there is no conscious effort or thankfulness cultivation in the Western culture. In fact, because of 'our rights' it seems like quite the opposite is encouraged. And from a very human perspective, standing around and complaining about something seems to bond people (even if you feel quite dragged down at the end of it).

So my challenge to you is to walk through your day today and to express your thankfulness to God for the little things that you take for granted every day. See how that will change your perspective on life.

Things I am thankful for this morning:
The door handle
Tea bags
Electric kettle
Porcelain tea cups
A very comfortable bed
My husband
My parents in law
My beautiful, wonderful friends around the world
Healthy baby Alex and the relatively easy delivery Felicia had
Knowing that I am not alone in everything I am going through
The new Marketing and Comms Assistant
My job
My clothes
This country
The warmth outside
The fact that we don't have to worry about money
My relationship with God
The internet
My computer
The beautiful painting my inlaws brought out
Being alive


FeliOland said...

love this post. thank you for praying for me and the delivery. you are one of the reasons God helped me go through it with so much strength and courage.

Rivki said...

Lovely post. I love your list of things that you are grateful for. :) Thank you so much for the link to my post!

You are spot on about the focus on our "rights" obscuring a focus on gratefulness. Judaism tends to focus on obligations rather than rights. As in, "what am I obligated to do," not, "what do I deserve?"

It makes a difference.