Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.
This post should be a fairly easy one for all of us. On a daily basis we are greeted by many sights we could be grateful for. It may be something we do not stop and appreciate, as are most of these, but with a mere second of reflections many can leap to mind. Start by looking around you. I can say the sight of the hot cup of coffee and the computer it is sitting next to are great for me. Why? Beyond the obvious reasons of liking both coffee and writing, I can afford both. The computer allows me to reach homes and phones around the globe. In Lebanon, a gentleman informs me they print these posts and hang them in his office for inspiration. The coffee fuels the content you read on these posts.
Then I reflect on my day. The sight of the sunshine when I left to drive at work. It was well below freezing today. After the work truck warmed up, the sunshine allowed my brain to forget, if just for a moment, how cold it was outside. The temperature on my cell phone when I left work which was higher than when I arrived. Still below freezing, but at least going in the right direction. The sight of a not so crowded gym after work meant the machines I wanted to use were available.
Then I begin to think of some of my favorite sights. Any tropical scene is inspiring to me in a host of different ways. I have a calendar at work that is full of different tropical paintings. I like all things tropical. Palm trees, pink flamingos, rum and the ocean. Images of any of those are wonderful. My favorite sight is smiles on the faces of those I love and care about. It means they have joy in their hearts. In the case of Margie, it also means that, for the moment at least, I am doing a good job as the man in her life. There is no greater reward than to see her genuine smile.
There are so many more sights in life that I am grateful for. When I think about all of the amazing things I see on a daily basis, I am so grateful. I do not appreciate them nearly as much as I could. As a bonus, I am grateful for this exercise bringing that to my attention. What sights are you grateful for today?
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This bit of information that we do not have to agree on everything to be kind to each other hopefully is something you already know…at least intellectually. In this day and age of social media, individuals can broadcast their opinions to the world with a click of a button. It is my belief they should. I think one of the beautiful things about technology and social media is the ability to be exposed to others who are different than we are. Whether that is someone in a different city, state or a different country.
I am blessed that this blog is followed in over 100 countries. I regularly converse with wonderful souls from Italy, Lebanon, Syria, Australia and a host of other countries. Still working on Greenland, but we will save that story for another post. What warms my heart is that on any given day people in countries that can’t seem to get along socially or politically both read what I have written. Just today I was in touch with some amazing individuals in both Pakistan as well as India. Yesterday despite what I read in the headlines, people in both Turkey and Syria read what was posted here.
I equate this to my ability to speak to topics that affect all of us. No matter where we live, everyone would love to reduce their stress, increase their joy and become the best version of themselves. In general, we all have a burning desire to live a life full of happiness, abundance and love. All of us at some point enjoy motivation, inspiration and encouragement. Everyone enjoys receiving a smile. Well maybe not one of my coworkers, but she is the one who probably needs it the most. As you can see deep down we are a lot alike. We all have hopes, dreams and passions. True, they may not be the same, but we all have them.
What about those pesky differences? There are major differences after all. Religion, sex, politics. All of the subjects we were told not to discuss because they precipitate many disagreements. I say we should discuss our deep beliefs and passions. It is learning the proper way to discuss them. I also think disagreeing is ok. We just need to learn how to disagree. Even at the highest level we have regressed to personal attacks and name calling. It can be challenging to admit someone has a right to a contrary opinion than us. It can be even more difficult to be able to respect that opinion.
Do you know what happens when you can say things like, “This is the way I think, but I understand and respect you have a different belief on this matter. How can we work together to come to a common accord?” One, you sound like a really badass. Seriously. You are a warrior. You have conquered the fiercest opponent – your own emotions and your own mind. There is not greater challenge than that.
Here is another bonus to being diplomatic and understanding – you never come out looking like a jerk. By displaying a sense of compassion and understanding you have taken the high road. You also give them an opportunity to not only be a part of the solution, but walk away with dignity and respect for their belief. Why people feel there can only be one correct belief, opinion or answer is beyond me. Instead of focusing on trying to change others, we should work on changing ourselves into someone who operates with more compassion and understanding.
Some of you may be saying, “How can I agree with someone who has a different faith than I do?” Again, it is important to note that you don’t have to agree with someone to respect their differences. This picture is bordered in green and yellow. Those two colors happen to be the colors of the Green Bay Packers, the local professional football team. Every Sunday when they play you can read posts and comments on social media of a very intense and passionate nature. Again, nothing wrong with that. What is sad is often these degenerate into the same name calling nonsense of the other subjects.
Here are a few quick news flashes… You can’t change others, only yourself. People are allowed to be different, just as you are. Two people can have different opinions and beliefs and neither or both of them can be right. You can both disagree and respect someone’s difference. There are civil ways to discuss differences. Being exposed to and not automatically rejecting different people and their thoughts and beliefs can lead to some of your greatest personal growth. So let us all be kind to each other and work to live with more compassion.