On Wednesday, July 6 Categories:

As we breathe the fresh, morning air, we notice there are changes around us. Actually, the changes we see may have been there for a long time - flowers blooming, grass waving as the wind blows, the clear, blue skies. However, at times when we are truly busy, we fail to notice them. It's a fact though that somehow, we need to pause for a while and realize that life is too beautiful to waste. The only key to see the beauty around us is to plant goodness in our hearts and do away with frustrations and hatred.

As we grow old, we face so many endeavors in life. Some of them are hard to endure, especially if they are about relationships. It is inevitable, indeed, that in this cycle, there are people who can hurt us and there are also some who will make us feel happy. At some point in our lives, when we are busy lingering on depression, we fail to appreciate these people. Have we thought of saying thank you to our friends and family and even to strangers who may have done something good to us? How sincere are we when we say thank you? Can we be there beside them when they need us the most? If we seem unsure of our answers, it's obvious that we need to make a reality check on ourselves.

What is gratitude? Gratitude is an act of giving positive feedback to those who help us in any way. Pursuant to the Buddhist dogma, gratitude is not just a want, but it is a need of all people to be thanked. But humans as we are, we fail to do this because we are carried away by either overwhelming negative emotions. As they say, blessings are like rain from heaven. The only way to respond to these blessings is through evaporation. In human life, evaporation is gratitude. When we offer our thanksgiving to someone, we are acknowledging the blessings around us.

When we do our part in the society, we are opening more doors to strengthen peace and unity. More to that, the simplest way we can express our gratitude to those who have been good to us is to simply appreciate them. Try to send text messages once in a while or, better yet, call the people who have been good to you to make them feel appreciated. However, sometimes we are biased. We only care for someone whom we think has good looks or is popular in town. We usually base gratitude on feelings, but what about those who have been loyal to us but have not been gifted with a pleasing personality? Well, our biases will sometimes get in the way of the inherent tendency in all of us to do acts of kindness.

Hurt, condemnation, depression, happiness and sadness are not excuses to forget the essence of gratitude. When we are hurt, sometimes, we also hurt others unconsciously. When we are like Romeo and Juliet who are so helplessly in love, we are biased to see other people's goodness. One way or another, we need to realize that gratitude is not just a word. It is an action word that can attract more and more blessings for us when we recognize its existence. Now, when was the last time we put our pride aside in exchange for a better relationship with someone?

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The 9/11 contest is a great opportunity for us to create changes in our society. Explore 9111Plus.org to learn about the 9/11 contest and make it an avenue for us to express gratitude to our countrymen as we all work to attain peace and unity.

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