“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer
My father used to say something very peculiar to my brother and I when we were growing up. He used to say, “If your mother puts rocks on the table for dinner, you will eat them and say thank you.”
As an eight-year-old, I thought my father was a bit weird for saying that. I later learned what that funny saying meant. It’s the same quote that my grandfather used to tell my father. What it means is that if there is food on the table, even if your mother isn’t the best cook, you should be grateful. Well, my mother wasn’t the best cook, but over time what I learned is that I need to appreciate the fact that I was fed.
Gratitude is a gift. I remember when I was younger, I wasn’t very aware of how to be thankful for what I had. Being grateful was something I learned. I was taught the concept of gratitude over time through my grandparents’ odd, yet very wise expressions.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized how important having gratitude is. There are hundreds of ways to look at life situations. I actively choose to look at all of my ups and downs with a grateful outlook. It makes the ups sweeter and the downs more bearable. I always say to myself, what will I learn from the down this time? I also think about how great the up is going to feel when I overcome the obstacle. It’s not easy to think this way, but it ultimately makes for a happier life.