We take a lot of things for granted in this life, from family, friends, health, physical gifts we possess to the environment, and many comforts. We only struggle for what we do not have. You can say for extra convenience, and when we attain it, we reset to un-gratitude towards the newly attained comfort, and only when the said-convenience is lost, do we see it was a privilege to have it.
“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you are not grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” Roy T. Bennett
However, since over the years we have been collecting on comforts and piling them up, we are lost in a world of options and conveniences, call it civilization. In time we grow blind to them, not realizing the cushioning they afford us.
An abstract example; before cars, people used to walk long distances, use horses or mules. These alternatives worked; they served the purpose though with obvious many other inconveniences at the time. Cars brought more convenience and comfort. Saves us energy, time, disappointments, to mention a few. With a car having the same power as several horses tugging a chariot together, horsepower.
The car’ carrying even heavier loads, going faster and adding on comfort plus reliability. It’s so ironic that what kings and queens dreamt about but could not afford despite their wealth and privileges can now be enjoyed by many. Like driving in a car with more horsepower and fewer inconveniences, enjoying the many uses of electricity in our homes and at work, security in food stock thanks to processed foods and technology in cold storage, entertainment in our living rooms instead of colosseums and people losing limbs. Call it civilization. Yet very it is still very hard to see these many comforts as privileges and blessings of today.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus
To review further back in time. Roads were said to be Rome’s’ greatest civilization, then cultivation in the 18th century fueled with the need for more yields per acre. All these compiled to today’s’ comforts and conveniences.
“Civilization is an enormous device for economizing on knowledge.” Thomas Sowell
Today I met a man with just three teeth. He is tall, skinny, a bit rough, but a smart 40-year-old man. He says he lost the other teeth when someone put some solution in his cup at a pub, him believing it was sulfur, burning his teeth, and the insides of his mouth deforming his gum. Sad. It’s been months of suffering, from struggles to eat and a deformed facial structure of sorts to pains and discomforts. Now, being judged by society for his new-look, him expressing his desire to chew once again. He confesses that he didn’t know the significance of the weight of importance that teeth had before he lost them.
The good news is that, with today’s civilized era that has seen advancement in technology. The mouth can get reconstructed, and the man gifted with a new set of dentures. ‘Fake teeth.’ Hopefully, he won’t forget the painful lesson once comfort is gained.
We might not notice how important many of the gifts we have are; in terms of blessings, convenience, and many comforts. They are the invisible cushioning. It’s fundamental not to take the many little gifts for granted. To enjoy all gifts as if they were great gifts, be grateful, and tend to them with care like fragile flowers. Be kind and thankful to family and friends, take care of our body and environment, enjoy the little magical moments as simple as they may seem.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.” Marcus Tullius Cicero