Bridge of Life


2. Be Grateful to Everyone

“If you feel grateful for what is possible for you in this moment, no matter what your challenges are, if you feel grateful that you are alive at all, that you can think, that you can feel, that you can stand, sit, walk, talk—if you feel grateful, you are happy and you maximize your chances for well-being and for sharing happiness with others.” – Norman Fischer

Sounds simple enough, right? Think about it for a moment—pose these questions to yourself: What are you most grateful for? When did you start to become mindful of this ‘gratefulness’ characteristic of life? Maybe most importantly, who taught you to appreciate that attribute and how did you learn to ingrain it into your consciousness?

We associate gratefulness with pleasure and like-mindedness. We find solace in our own seemingly serene understanding and feel appreciative that we can experience thankfulness for recognizing that gift. Gratefulness, however, is much greater than that—its actual, immediate cultural impact far outshines its surface-level ambiance—and has a lasting impact on our awakened life as individuals.

Fischer notes, “Unhappiness and gratitude cannot live in the same moment.”Meaning each second that we are not happy, especially when it’s for selfish reasons, we’re missing the heart of the matter— which runs much deeper than our own superficial daily, run-of-the-mill unhappiness. We must learn that the projections of our own attitudes directly affect our outside world; The Universe and all of the other humans in it; other humans we so easily forget are so integral to our daily existence.

As noted in Part 1, sometimes, all that’s needed is a small shift in perception for a perspective to turn negative thought into positive action, as we make ‘all steps important to our journey.’ A path Fischer calls ‘profound understanding.’

That said—gratefulness is more than the appreciation for what we have—it’s an understanding of what we need, as a singular being, and how we can contribute our own gifts to a community of comrades—our fellow humans—that are just trying to make it through their own day as they try to lead their own best life.

From the beginning of our existence, we’ve needed others to survive. When we’re first born, our parents are our refuge. They’re our constant—our way to sustain and continue life—and if we’re lucky enough, we learn to thrive on our own from that example. Curating our own reality for ourselves as adults, we base our judgments upon those fundamental principles that were instilled in us in our young years—for better or worse—when enlightened, by that fact, we’re lead to a more complete compassion for other humans.

“We were all at one time precisely in this situation, and someone or other must have cared for us in this same comprehensive way. Without one hundred percent total care from someone else, or maybe several others, we would not be here. This is certainly grounds for gratitude to others.”

When identifying our interdependence in the scope of the world around us, we can start to look outside of our own three-foot-circle and see the world for what it really is, not necessarily what we hope to take for ourselves individually.

What’s more, in being human, we owe a responsibility to bear the burden for all human kind—but with a silver lining perhaps—the more positive light we shine from ourselves the more brilliance there is in the universe; power we can exponentially create for whomever decides to dwell in the light.

So each time we feel a bit sorry for ourselves—let us be mindful of two things—the impact that this situation has on our path, and also, how our reaction to this situation impacts the lives of those around us who make our lives livable, whether we actively recognize it our not, each and every day.

Celebrate your fellow humans for their flaws and relish in the fact that you’re aware that we’re all working towards something, groping in the dark, for that bright, ominous light of happiness. And now that we’ve touched on the journey and how to be grateful and happy in it, what are we tackling in final part of these magnificent mantras? We’re getting deep with Part 3: “Do Good, Avoid Evil, and Appreciate Your Lunacy.

Miss Part 1 of Magnificent Mantras? Never fear; find it here:

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