It's no secret that a grateful person is a happy person. No matter the number of blessings we each have, to be grateful is to recognize our talents, abilities, surroundings and privileges as gifts and to be aware of how much we have been given.
This, like so much, is more easily said than done. In a life that is constantly documented online, it's easier than ever to compare ourselves to others. Someone went on a fancy vacation to the Bahamas this week / bought a slew of new clothes / just got a job / is out to a fancy dinner again.
And something I think we often forget is that another person's success and happiness does not mean a lack of our own.
Envy has a powerful way of distracting us from our own numerous blessings. Sure, I can't splurge on the newest, biggest, fanciest things, but I have so much else to be grateful for. Much of which is fundamental to who I am as a person.
I am an American citizen with the right to vote. I have the freedom to speak my mind, to protest things that I believe are unfair, to talk about anything I want to talk about without the fear of persecution. I have grown up in a stable home with happily married parents, a younger brother and a few dogs over the years. I've never had to worry about having a roof over my head, food in my belly or clothes on my back. I live in a safe place in Chapel Hill and aside from walking home alone at night, I've never had to worry about my safety as a white woman. I am healthy, without allergies or medical limitations, and so are my loved ones. I can see and hear and I have artistic and musical talents. I live in a beautiful place and I also have the freedom and ability to travel.
I have so much to be grateful for, and so much that I haven't even realized yet. This is such a beautiful life, but it's only as beautiful as our perception of it and our appreciation for what we have and where we are. Comparison is the thief of joy, while gratitude is the source.
I needed the reminder to be grateful today. We all do, sometimes.