I recently read an article where a poor, blind man was referred to a psychologist because he was suffering from depression.
The man, with a sad face, drooping shoulders and tired gait walked into the therapist’s office.
After listening attentively to the sad man pouring his heart out, the psychologist asked him to perform a simple task. The task was to simply, with the help of someone else, write a list of all the things he was grateful for and bring the list back the following week to their next session.
The following week, the man, wearing a big grin on his face walked into the therapist’s office and dropped four thick notebooks on the desk. The surprised mental health care professional asked the now very happy man for the purpose of the notebooks on his desk. The reply from the blind man was, “This is the homework you asked me to bring last week.”
The psychologist, in disbelieve picks up on the notebooks and notices that it contains a list of all the things the blind man was grateful for.
The therapist began to read, “I’m grateful for the warmth of the sun, which I can’t see, but I can feel on my face. I’m grateful for the coolness of the morning dew on the grass, which I feel on my bare feet. I’m grateful for the refreshing morning shower I’m able to enjoy every morning. I find gratitude in the smell of coffee, which wakes me up in the morning, the taste of eggs and bacon in my breakfast, the sweetness of orange juice, the laughter of my family as we enjoy our meals together.
I’m grateful for the breeze on my face, as I sit outdoors in the park. For the sounds of all the birds I can hear in my backyard I am grateful.
I’m grateful for the tingling sensation in the back of my throat of the fizz of the cold soft drink I enjoy on a hot afternoon.
I’m grateful for my family and friends, whom I can count on every day. I’m grateful for the rain, the cold, the heat, the day and night. I’m grateful for the changes in seasons, for the clothes on my back, for the bed and my soft pillow I delight in every night. I’m grateful for all the good night sleep I can enjoy without worries.
The list went on and on. The psychologist began to weep, as he realized how ungrateful he, himself had become, and of all the things he had over time taken for granted. All the small things, the details that weave together the mosaic of our everyday life.
What are you grateful for?
Our society has become more about rights and entitlements, rather than being grateful for favors received.
It has been said that gratefulness and fear cannot coexist, both at the same time, and in the same person. I wonder if there is correlation between the increase of depression, sadness, loneliness, and anger and the lack of gratitude in our communities.
I believe it’s time we go back to the basics of what our grandparents and parents taught us about showing gratitude.
My old elementary school teacher used to say, “your gratitude determines your altitude.” Mr. Todd, you were on to something.