As Christmas comes upon us here in North America, we enter a time of immeasurable greed. A time when simply encroaching the day can trigger emotions of loss and loneliness, disappointment, ecstasy and joy.
So many of us forget what is important – even more so than the meaning of the season itself. We are obligated to remember that every day we live, we ARE blessed. Is this season not about the ultimate gift of life?
Anyone experiencing physical existence at this moment has all they need to be grateful. Today. With today, anything is possible. Of course I am not talking about material wealth or moving mountains, but one needs only a day to understand their lessons and connect with the Universe.
As spirit, we fought and tried, and planned and prepared to come here to learn – and no matter how difficult the lessons become – if we could connect wholly with our true selves, we would know to be grateful regardless our situation – financial and otherwise.
Some might say that is easier said than done – to be grateful when in need. When I find myself feeling like the world owes me something, I need only to think of the millions before me who fought and struggled their whole lives to end it all in suffering. Children of the holocaust, young soldiers, the many starving and suffering throughout the world. The needless victims of crime, those born into life without means and the many, many parent-less children who will last only a few short years here on earth.
I know that I must not have been as brave a soul, that I chose to have my experiences primarily by choice. I was born into North America, a place with great wealth, where even the poorest of us can rely on a minimal government assistance. I need only to reflect on a time when living and working in rural Thailand to reassess my personal needs and wants.
My health is not great, but my woes do not compare to the man I met in Hat Yai who had elephantiasis but no money to pay for his care. He continued to work a physical labour job to feed his family, though the weight of his extra mass was not only unpleasant to look at, but destructive to his physical health. Or the neighbour who suffered from something that looked to me like gangrene, but was unable to pay for treatment or removal. Instead he enjoyed his last moments on earth while being poisoned slowly to death by his treatable condition.
I raised my daughter alone and in poverty here in Canada, but I never had to prostitute – or sell my daughter – to pay the bills. When I needed to, I joined a work retraining program of one sort or another, offered through the community or government. It wasn’t easy, but we always had food and shelter and decent schools and health care – and for many years I worked a minimum wage job – the least amount employers of Canada are allowed by law to pay.
It simply is not the same in the rest of the world. Many places do not have a minimum wage, or free health care – or even decent schools in marginalized areas. Indeed, I am lucky to be born Canadian, and so was my daughter. And though it varies from place to place, MOST of us (here in North America and abroad) can say we have reason to be grateful.
Those of us who truly don’t, are likely on a higher path and deserve our prayers, for it is they who are anticipated to surpass many of us in the spirit realm. At the very least, they are straightening their own path in a very admirable (and hardcore) way.
I know that there has been recent, unnecessary tragedy in the news that has affected people across nations. It is too easy at such a time to be filled with hatred and anger at the offenders and God, who ‘let such a thing happen’. Too easy to ignore lessons and instead indulge in negativity and distress. But when the ‘dust has settled’ the lessons behind the horror should not be ignored.
I have needlessly lost immediate family members, including a sibling, and though I understand the loss that is felt (forever) from such an event, it simply does not exclude gratefulness. We live, we die, and every moment in between is a fleeting, easily extinguished gift. Nothing less.
So don’t forget, the world owes you nothing. That just isn’t the way it works. Be grateful for every second of life you are granted, and work to use each for your own development and enlightenment, which will reflect to your family and loved ones. What else matters?