Today, and everyday, there is reason to give thanks.
Here are 10 reasons to be thankful today.
May we cultivate a heart of thankfulness no matter what circumstances come our way!
Thirsty? According to the United Nations , 783 million people do not have access to clean water. If you have access to bottled water, tap water, rainwater – not to mention flavoured water or purified water – then you are blessed. You have 1 reason to give thanks!
Busting for the loo? If you have a toilet to run too, then you are blessed. Drop-loos and portable-loos may not be pleasant, but they’re still toilets. In Cambodia, one of the toilets I encountered inside an orphanage was a cemented basin in the ground with a watering can for a ‘manual’ flush. Though we see toilets as disgusting, what is more disgusting is that 2,000 children die per day for diarrhoea diseases (1,800 due to poor sanitation/hygiene). You now have 2 reasons to give thanks!
3. Toilet Paper
Do you have a roll of paper next to you on the loo? Then you are blessed, because you have access to good sanitation and hygiene practices. Right now more than 50 per cent of hospital beds in developing countries are filled by those ill from poor sanitation or dirty water. Toilet paper in itself deserves its own moment of thanks. In Cambodia, if I didn’t have tissues on me when searching for the loo, I was up the creek without a paddle. Toilet paper, whether the cheap-papery-kind or the soft-labrador-promoted-kind, is worth appreciating. Since you’re bound to encounter a toilet today, why not take a moment to reflect on these 3 reasons you have to give thanks!
Hungry? If you have a pang in your stomach, and a pantry or fridge full of potential products which could provide you with sustenance to satisfy that pang, then you are blessed. Eating is essential. Eating gives you energy. What if you had nothing to eat? There was estimated to be 870 million people suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. If you are able to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs, take a moment to appreciate ever vitamin, mineral, protein, carbohydrate, etc. that you intake today. There’s 4 reasons to give thanks!
Tired? Do you have a place to rest, a place you call home, even a bed to rest in? Take a moment to admire that roof above your head (as plain as it may be), and that door that encloses your room (as squeaky as it may be). 1 in 3 children in the developing world survive without adequate shelter. That’s 5 reasons to give thanks!
Bored? Can you read, write, speak? The gift of being educated is having the ability to learn. Your mind is stretched to it’s limits. You can discover new things. You can enter the world of scholars or fictional fantasies. You can write letters or essays. You can construct sentences and speak with confidence and intelligence. This is not to say that uneducated people cannot do all of these things, but those who cannot access schools and academic institutions are disadvantaged. Therefore if you are able to read this now, you are advantaged. You are blessed. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their own name… 6 reasons to give thanks!
Sick? In pain? If there is someone qualified within your reach, then you are incredibly blessed. Unfortunately, many cannot access the help they need and die of preventable causes. Specifically, of the 9 million children under 5 who die each year, 70% of these are preventable. So, if you are living somewhere with a hospital, a local GP, specialist centres, or medical offices, then you are within reach of life. Rather than looking at the politics involved in your country’s health system, look at the power of having a well-established health system with resources and professionals at hand in crisis. If your country, state, and local town/suburb has a trained doctor who can help you when you need it….. Well, I don’t know about you, but I think that brings us to 7 reasons to give thanks!
Hot or Cold? Your skin is miraculous, acting as a layer of tissue to keep your body warm and protect you from harmful bugs. Even when you are hot, your body sweats through your skin to cool you down. Although you may still get cold, hot, and sick, your body has a barrier from the outside world. We have been specifically designed with skin to cover our bones and organs. So in a world where 1 in 3 cancers diagnosed is skin cancer, let’s take a moment to think about how important our skin is and how worthy it is of protecting (not just from sun, but any harmful substances). Our bodies in general are worth thanking for their intrinsic functions, but lets give our skin the limelight… that’s 8 reasons to give thanks!
Do your legs feel heavy? Your feet blistered? If you can keep your tootsies warm in winter and your foot soles covered when walking various terrains, then you are blessed! As Soles4Souls highlight, there are over 300 million children worldwide who are without shoes. So if you own a pair of shoes (and I’m guessing you’re like me and own more than one pair) then take a moment to appreciate how precious shoes are! Imagine having to go to work and school without shoes. Imagine the diseases living barefoot leaves many children in developing nations vulnerable to. Let’s not complain about what shoes can smell like after a long day, or what shoes we want and can’t afford. Admire the pair/s you do have…there’s 9 reasons you can give thanks!
Do you have loose coins in your purse? Money doesn’t buy happiness, but unfortunately we do need money to buy necessities like food, water, and shelter (not to mention education, electricity, other products/materials, etc.). Almost half the world live on less than $2.50 a day. So that 5 cent coin you think is useless? (we’re talking Aussie dollars here) That’s precious. It counts for something that somebody else doesn’t have. If you are employable and have money in the bank (even if you don’t feel as well-off as people around you) you are blessed. Now… you have reached 10 reasons to give thanks!
But why stop there:
The challenge is to immerse yourself in the experience of giving thanks - cultivate thankfulness into your everyday routine and thought patterns. You'd be amazed at the results - the enormity of reasons we have to give praise and thanks for both the blessings and burdens in life.