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Gratitude

 
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21 July 2017 19:59
 

There’s plenty to be upset about these days - terrorism, global warming, inequality, hatred, poverty, sickness, Trump, to name a few. But there is plenty to be thankful for, as well. For me, I just finished my first week back at work after a great 2 1/2 week vacation, and I got good reviews for my performance this past year.  I’m sitting on my back porch, smoking a good cigar and drinking tequila after a nice swim. Life is good.

I invite you to express gratitude in this thread, to whomever or whatever you want. It may be to life, the universe, God (as you define that term, if at all), your family, your significant other(s), a friend. I’m filled with a sense of gratitude and feel that I want to express it.  I invite you to do the same.

 
burt
 
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burt
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21 July 2017 21:38
 

Would like to hear more about the vacation. We’re doing the Rhone cruise in September.

As for gratitude, had a great day, fine dinner with gin & tonic, very grateful for being alive. But the best expression is below, which I cut out of a local weekly newspaper in Tucson 8 or 9 years ago:

The Supreme Good

The young ones gather at the feet of the old woman,
“Tell us, Mother, what is the chief end in life—
The summum bonum?

Her mind rolls back through eighty-some years—
A life filled with
        Sorrows and joys
        Drudgeries and exhilarations
                Tragedies an triumphs.

The young ones wait patiently for her answer.
Its simplicity when it comes, astonishes them.

No admonition to do or be good.
No admonition to love God and keep his commandments.
No admonition to “know thyself.”
No admonition to seek truth and grow in wisdom.

She answers simply:
The chief end in life is gratitude.
And the only prayer you need ever utter is “thank you.”

Loretta Carmickle

 
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22 July 2017 00:06
 

I feel a compulsory, vaguely guilty gratitude regarding nearly everything I come into contact with, in this modern life I was flung into by accident of birth. Say I start the day by brushing my teeth. Who invented toothbrushes? Not me. Who created universities and research centers where we could collect knowledge about dental care and fluoride? Not me. Who created factories where toothbrushes can be mass produced, and all the engineering knowledge that goes into those factories, including the production of the raw material such as plastic, and the knowledge of how to create those raw materials? Also not me. Who created cars and trucks and planes and distribution methods and statistics in order to disseminate toothbrushes to consumers? Again, not me. Who created the infrastructure for stores in which they could be sold, the engineering for those buildings, the financial plans, and on and on… And so it is for almost every single thing I come into contact with in a given day. I am not standing on the shoulders of giants, I am barely one atom in one cell on those shoulders, and every second of every day I reap the benefits of a world that I had next to nothing to do with creating.


At a more personal level, I feel a more personal gratitude for the people who have inadvertently helped me in more direct way in life. The meditation teachers and authors, for example, who taught me counterintuitive methods for problem solving, such as the idea that striving for results is a Chinese Finger Trap. That, in so many things in life, the answers we seek often lie in exactly the place where we wouldn’t think to look for them, the method we wouldn’t think to try.


At the most heartfelt level, I feel gratitude for the love, the friendship, the guidance and the care of people willing to lend a hand and help me forward in life, often in an almost Mary Poppins-esque manner (in that it feels as if they appear out of nowhere when they’re needed sometimes, as if the come flying in on the east wind when the need arises.) And for the depth of love it is possible to feel towards others, not based on any mundane, obligatory criteria (I love this person because I’ve known them forever, because we’re related, because the rules of our societal interaction says that I should, and so on,) but from a spontaneous wellspring that feels deeper than any of that, that can apply to people who one doesn’t even know.


I’m sure I could think of many other things to add to the list (Floss picks, for example - how awesome are floss picks? Why did we have to spend so many years deep throating our hands to reach our back molars before someone thought of floss picks?) but those are the ones that come to mind readily.

 
Skipshot
 
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22 July 2017 00:51
 

Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate the good fortune I have.  Living where I do is a constant reminder of how much harder many people work just to keep their head above water.  And then I drive to the top of the hills above my house and am treated to a glorious forest of Redwood trees, oaks, and views which quietly dissipate any concerns I may have.  It is like pushing a Reset button.  I have gotten pretty good at focusing on the good in life (despite my occasional rant and outburst here), because in the end all we really have are memories, so try to make them good ones.

 
bbearren
 
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23 July 2017 13:09
 

I’ve been pondering this since the OP.  Skip’s post hits very close to home for me.  Living in an area of central Florida where the population density is very low, every drive in any direction is filled with oaks, pines, cypress, bay trees, pastures, woodlands, creeks and wetlands.

Skipshot - 22 July 2017 12:51 AM

Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate the good fortune I have.  Living where I do is a constant reminder of how much harder many people work just to keep their head above water.  And then I drive to the top of the hills above my house and am treated to a glorious forest of Redwood trees, oaks, and views which quietly dissipate any concerns I may have.  It is like pushing a Reset button.  I have gotten pretty good at focusing on the good in life (despite my occasional rant and outburst here), because in the end all we really have are memories, so try to make them good ones.

In that last sentence, “in the end all we really have are memories, so try to make them good ones”, I find another meaning as well.  In our own end, all we really are, are memories, so try to make them good ones.  At the moment I’m cooking a one-pot dish for supper that I learned from watching my dad cook it many times when I was growing up.  He didn’t need a recipe, and I don’t either, because of those memories.

My own memories of those who have gone before me make me more keenly aware that I am laying down memories for those I will leave behind some day.  All I really have is today, and I’m always thankful for today.  Being “thankful for today” is a legacy that I would like to be firmly entrenched in the memories that I will become one day.  And that’s just one more of many reasons to be thankful for today.

 
 
burt
 
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23 July 2017 17:15
 

I think that the concept of Duty is strongly connected to Gratitude. In reading some of the earlier posts, a saying I find inspirational comes to mind: that we do not really understand the nature of duty until we realize that everything we have is the result of the work, sweat, and suffering of others who came before us who almost never personally benefited from their efforts.

 
LadyJane
 
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24 July 2017 14:39
 

Did you ladies get lost on your way to the What Are You Drinking Now thread?

I’m grateful for roast jokes.

 
 
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24 July 2017 17:09
 
LadyJane - 24 July 2017 02:39 PM

Did you ladies get lost on your way to the What Are You Drinking Now thread?

I’m grateful for roast jokes.

Ladies?!  We’re old men getting sentimental. That’s worse.

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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24 July 2017 18:46
 

My life has been good if with some bumps.  Not much of it left and the bumps are bigger.  Thanks to some here for adding to its value

 
 
burt
 
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24 July 2017 21:46
 
Dennis Campbell - 24 July 2017 06:46 PM

My life has been good if with some bumps.  Not much of it left and the bumps are bigger.  Thanks to some here for adding to its value

Thanks to you, too Dennis. Suggest a mountain bike for the bumps.

 
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25 July 2017 00:35
 

It’s good to be able to stand out in the fresh air, take a breath and be able to look around me and see the view, hear the trees moving. I’m grateful for the simple things these days and without guilt, I’ve served my time.

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Brick Bungalow
 
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26 July 2017 23:13
 

I like Dawkins little ramble about the extraordinary privilege to exist at all however briefly, however imperfectly. In the context of what we can discern about all there is it’s something akin to a miracle to find oneself possessed of conscious attention at all. Now that’s a bit specious perhaps because my life has afforded me the luxury to relax and pontificate and wonder about such things. I’m aware that many people live in a state of desperation that robs them of leisurely wistful musings. Still, gratitude for life.

Also opportunities to participate in creative communities. Making and exchanging art imparts an experience of significance for me every time I remember to remember. I’m grateful for my family even though we don’t get along perfectly. Again, I’m aware that an even marginally functional family unit is a benefit denied to many people. I think it’s important to acknowledge it daily. Food, liquor, sex, books, music, movies roughly in that order along with a lively cohort of long time companions to review and regale each in its turn.

Life is good. Until it’s not. Appreciate whatever quality of life you have because, you know…

 
icehorse
 
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27 July 2017 15:57
 
Skipshot - 22 July 2017 12:51 AM

Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate the good fortune I have.  Living where I do is a constant reminder of how much harder many people work just to keep their head above water.  And then I drive to the top of the hills above my house and am treated to a glorious forest of Redwood trees, oaks, and views which quietly dissipate any concerns I may have.  It is like pushing a Reset button.  I have gotten pretty good at focusing on the good in life (despite my occasional rant and outburst here), because in the end all we really have are memories, so try to make them good ones.

Great thoughts all around. I have to comment on this one in particular. We’re REALLY blessed to have had a grove of redwoods in our backyard for the last eight years, and a wonderful view from our front yard of a valley of live oaks and eucs. Now it looks like we’ll be living in the San Juan islands, where the weather will be harsher, but the horses will finally have some decent running room. I saw a pod of Orcas last week - how cool is that? My pretty good view of the Milky Way is gonna get even better! I’ve been extremely fortunate and I’m grateful.

A lot of what drives me to spend time on places like the forum is that I want to figure out how to help improve the odds that my daughters will have the same opportunities that I’ve had to enjoy a healthy-ish planet in relative peace.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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27 July 2017 16:46
 

Well, this thread is about gratitude, and I have a lot to be grateful for.

But reading the posts here is kinda making me green with envy.  There are no European cruises in my foreseeable future (too expensive).  No glorious forests of redwood trees or oaks outside my back door.  No horses.  No pods of Orcas.

But I can afford floss picks, and they are awesome.  (Who says money can’t buy happiness?)

I am particularly grateful for my loving, kind, funny, handsome, spotty-hair-headed (recently developed alopecia) husband.

I am really grateful that the roofing guys finished shingling our house today and it is no longer raining in my kitchen.

 
 
icehorse
 
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27 July 2017 16:59
 
Jan_CAN - 27 July 2017 04:46 PM

Well, this thread is about gratitude, and I have a lot to be grateful for.

But reading the posts here is kinda making me green with envy.  There are no European cruises in my foreseeable future (too expensive).  No glorious forests of redwood trees or oaks outside my back door.  No horses.  No pods of Orcas.

But I can afford floss picks, and they are awesome.  (Who says money can’t buy happiness?)

I am particularly grateful for my loving, kind, funny, handsome, spotty-hair-headed (recently developed alopecia) husband.

I am really grateful that the roofing guys finished shingling our house today and it is no longer raining in my kitchen.

It doesn’t have to be expensive to live in the boonies, you just have to put up with the inconveniences smile  (It’s a mile to my mailbox.)

 
 
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27 July 2017 17:07
 
icehorse - 27 July 2017 04:59 PM
Jan_CAN - 27 July 2017 04:46 PM

Well, this thread is about gratitude, and I have a lot to be grateful for.

But reading the posts here is kinda making me green with envy.  There are no European cruises in my foreseeable future (too expensive).  No glorious forests of redwood trees or oaks outside my back door.  No horses.  No pods of Orcas.

But I can afford floss picks, and they are awesome.  (Who says money can’t buy happiness?)

I am particularly grateful for my loving, kind, funny, handsome, spotty-hair-headed (recently developed alopecia) husband.

I am really grateful that the roofing guys finished shingling our house today and it is no longer raining in my kitchen.

It doesn’t have to be expensive to live in the boonies, you just have to put up with the inconveniences smile  (It’s a mile to my mailbox.)

I guess you can’t just grab your mail while still in your jammies.  grin

 
 
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