I just a big lesson on the difference between being grateful and being possessive.
As I walked out of my home for what could have been the last time, I came to a definitive conclusion; I am not my stuff.
Last week, the folks of Coastal Georgia and Haiti and Florida and Haiti, South and North Carolina, Haiti and did I mention Haiti, experienced the devastation of Hurricane Matthew. While the storm has long gone, we are all still dealing with the aftermath (especially the folks in Haiti.)
Streets that were here are now blocked by the huge oaks that once lined them. Power lines and sewage have tainted the drinking water and then there is the mold.
So where is the gratitude in all of this?
Being grateful should not be reduced to clichés and comparisons. If I had a dollar for every, “It could be worse,” or “At least you have your power back,” I could really make a difference in Haiti.
Gratitude is a foresight and possessiveness is hindsight. When we look back on what we had or what we think we might have had, we miss the opportunity to see what can be.
Gratitude is a window of hope. It is not an act, but a state of being. Let me be more direct; either you are grateful, or you are not. Gratitude is not one and done. You are not truly grateful one moment but not the next. Being grateful is a lot like being nice. When you are a nice person, others feel it.
Ask your own self the following:
Do you see possibility for goodness or fear the worse?
Do you live in fear of those who are different or do you seek to (re)connect?
Do you work on the foundation of the future or are you obsessed with the next big or flashy thing?
Can you be happy in the moment or do you your emotions rush to the part where you know the good time must end?
Grateful is a state of being. We have become possessive creatures who can only be happy when our stuff outshines someone else’s.
Know this; we are all connected and we are connected to everything.
The tree that fell yearns for its roots and the fatherless child who was killed by that tree yearns for the root of all beings.
Bertice Berry, PhD.