This I Believe

Wallace - Kent, Ohio
Entered on May 8, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: gratitude
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This I believe

I believe in gratitude for every minute of being alive. Each night when I go to sleep I try to remember to give thanks for the rewards and the challenges of the day. I often reverse this order of words. Because I believe each of these is equal in value. This will seem strange to most people. The pleasure principle still seems to rule common thinking. Realization of the fact that unpleasant, uncomfortable and downright painful experiences are not to be hastily forgotten, but are lessons to be learned, came late in life for me. We need to acknowledge the troubling moments as well as the happy ones in gratitude. Every moment in which we are alive is precious.

For some people deep physical or emotional pain may, become constant. This might be from rapidly failing health or another critical situation which may seem like an unendurable experience. I think that under such a circumstance life becomes even more valuable. I suppose I am saying that even a mind-robbing condition of life is preferable to nothingness.

Many folks claim to know of an afterlife but those who may be living the afterlife aren’t around to talk about it. The possibility that there is no existence of the self after death is unthinkable even to people without religious convictions. My gratitude for each moment of life is not out of a fear of total annihilation, but because I truly am thankful for my experiences. There is so much in life to see and hear in every new day. I sometimes think of myself as a “newborn” babe even though I am past sixty years old. Yes, there are times when I am bored or tired. I am sometimes frightened by carnage or sickness as well as savagery right in my own town. But I see all of these too, with a look of wonder. And the older I get the less I am sure of what it is all about.

Why should I be grateful for every moment? Because the vastness of space and time is larger than the human mind can effectively contemplate. In that continuum awareness is a rare commodity. And I, as a living entity am lucky enough to have a share.