All religions teach gratitude. The concept of gratitude is fundamental in Buddhism; the lack of gratitude is a sign of no integrity.
In Islam, most sentences end with the word “Alhamdulilah,” praise to Allah. In the Jewish Faith honoring the Shabbath is paramount.
We are prompt to complain about the weather; a recurrent groaning: “it’s too cold today” or” I hate when it’s raining” “I can’t believe how hot it is. It seems like the weather should be tailored to suit our convenience. Meanwhile, we forget to be grateful for the beauty of the sky, jaw-dropping sunsets, flattering sunrises. We forget the moon crescent that seems to smile at us and the countless stars.
We possess endless gifts and blessings; I would like to highlight 3 of them.
-The gift of love
Regarding the pandemic, We are finally able to reunite with our families because of the vaccine that can save hundreds of lives and help us go back gradually to our normality. The love of family and friends is an invaluable gift. We can reflect on the way to avoid selfishness and deepen our love for our family:” A thirst that neither misfortune nor contempt, can extinguish .”Those are words by blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, a Mexican Jesuit priest martyred in 1927. He was only 36 years old. Let’s rejoice every single minute with our family and fill our lives with love.
-The gift of life
Our human nature is inclined to take everything for granted. However, waking up, stretching out our legs, and walking are blessings.
Christians can relate to the passage of the Gospel, Luke,chp17 -11-19.
Jesus heals ten lepers. Only one out of ten, when he saw that he was healed, came back. He praised God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’s feet and thanked him.
Most of the time, God in whose hands is our life breath we forget to glorify.
-The gift of Faith is the most beautiful of all gifts
I will mention an example that struck me while reading my late Husband, Ambassador Ghoulem Berrah’s Memoir, A DREAM FOR PEACE.
He was a freedom fighter for the independence from France of his fatherland, Algeria. As a medical student in Bordeaux, he fled from France to join the Maquis guerilla fight. After crossing the border between France and Spain, he was arrested and put in jail by the Spaniards. A devoted Muslim, here what he had to say:
“Hardship and prison life was just beginning. I was led down a hallway to a holding cell in a dark and musky basement. I walked in and looked around, and wondered how I could cope with my new surroundings. I’d been told that they placed me in solitary confinement for” my own protection.”I sat down on the cold concrete slab that would be my bed for the foreseeable future.
The cell measured three by two meters. A Constantly flickering light bulb hanging from a short string on the ceiling provided some dim luminance.
The aged Turk toilet in the corner was covered in dust, and a maze of spiderwebs stretched across to a small sink on the corroded wall.
When I bowed my head to Allah and recited some verses from the Quran to end my prayers for the day, I gave thanks for the privilege of having some water to purify my physical self and cleanse my spirit.
Since the ambiance was not favorable to a tranquil sleep, I stayed awake the entire night praying and reading more verses from the Qur’an p.58
With the gift of Faith, we stay steadfast in any circumstances, strong by grace.
I will conclude with the gift of liberty that we are fortunate to enjoy in the United States. For little things and bigger things, let’s try to remember to be grateful.