This I Believe

Melissa - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on February 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

I believe that gratitude can only be achieved by making a genuine effort to be aware of all my surroundings. There are a multitude of things that I am grateful for in my life; they range from the smallest everyday objects to the meaningful privileges and values that I sometimes take for granted.

I am happy to have a table to eat meals on and do homework on, and chairs and couches to relax on after a long day. I am lucky to have electricity, running water, and a roof over my head. Although these things may seem insignificant and routine at first glance, they are luxuries that most people in the world are unable to enjoy.

Nature is another aspect of my life that I have only recently begun to explore. I appreciate the sun and its beauty and warmth. I am thankful for the various types of trees and flowers, for the mountains, for the lakes, rivers and oceans around me.

I am grateful for my close-knit family, and for each one of my diverse friends, old and new. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to make such great friends. Each person in my life has taught me something that has shaped who I am today. I am lucky to be surrounded by so much love.

I have always tended to take things for granted in my everyday life. But I only recently discovered this, when I was going through a rough time in my life. During this time, I received a letter from someone very special to me. In the letter, she told me to “go smell a flower, ride a wave, and hug your roommate.” This opened my eyes and showed me what I had missed while I had been focusing on the bad things in my life. I decided then that I needed to change my way of thinking and let myself become a more positive person. To make myself feel better each night, I would think of a couple things I was grateful for. This simple act of addressing the wonderful elements of my life changed my perspective. I believe that recalling the things I am grateful for has bettered my perception of the world. I believe in being grateful.