OK, so I haven’t really found 101 yet, although I’m not far off! And I’ve only been looking at those things we take for granted.
My dad has lost his hearing temporarily, and I was thinking about the impact that would have on my life. TV and films would lose a chunk of their appeal, no music, wouldn’t hear the phone ring or be able to call anyone, wouldn’t know if someone came to the door – it’s a massive impact.
And that led me to thinking about how we take our senses for granted. We can feel, taste, smell, hear and see, and we don’t even think about it normally. Plus, our limbs move in a co-ordinated way, so it’s easy to move about, our hands can grasp and hold, our bodies just get on with complex procedures like digestion, repair, immune systems. Oh, and all those trillions of cells that we’re made of can co-operate and support each other in their various roles. And none of that requires conscious effort on my part.
Wow!! ‘What a piece of work is man’, as Shakespeare said.
Then there’s our minds, which manage all the amazing things our bodies can do as a matter of course, but also absorb and store incredible amounts of information, which enables us to remember, assess, discriminate, and learn and grow. I know they can also cause us problems, but they do a pretty good job on the whole.
So, without even looking outside ourselves, we have a lot of wonderful reasons to be thankful we’re human.
Add to that the simplest of our needs being met on a regular basis and we must be close to my 101 reasons. I’m referring to a bed to sleep in, a roof over our head, food on the table, water we can drink no predators hunting us so a level of safety, easy access to clothes to keep us warm, lights if it’s dark. We just take all of these for grated don’t we? I know I do most of the time.
It’s easy to get pissed off, feel life isn’t great, wish things were different. And on those days it can be hard to find anything to be thankful for – we just notice all the things that confirm our state of mind.
I think it is useful to remind ourselves of all these reasons to be thankful – it helps us to change our state of mind, and to realise that life isn’t that bad after all..