Why You Should Be Grateful

Why You Should Be Grateful

Written by Lars

Topics: Habits, Happiness

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If you are reading this, you are most likely an extremely fortunate person. You have access to practically all the world’s information at your fingertips. Even the fact that you can read is a luxury that not everyone gets, as 26% of adults in the world are illiterate.

 
Many people on this planet are stuck trying to get their basic needs met. Millions are just trying to make enough money to survive. Most of the people on this planet don’t have the luxury of free time to read blogs like this, let alone have access to them. If you can choose what you want to do with your life, that freedom is practically unheard of in most of human civilization. If you were not born into slavery or poverty, you most likely would do what your parents did, and that would continue for generations.

 
If you never go hungry in your daily life, and are confident that you will have any access to food today, keep in mind that 925 million people don’t have that same luxury. If you’re relatively rich and live in a free country, at this time in history, you are one of the luckiest people in the history of the world.

 
If you’re not overweight or obese, remember that over 69% of America is worse off than you. If you’re college-educated, remember that only 6.7% of people in the world have a college degree. Millions upon millions of people never even get any formal schooling at all, let alone go to high school.

 
We should not save being grateful for what we have until Thanksgiving. We should stop and think, if only for a minute, every single day about what we’re grateful for. Studies have shown that it literally makes you 25% happier, not to mention that true gratefulness is one of the best feelings you can have.

 
Don’t let thinking about all the billions of people on this planet that are worse off than you make you feel guilty for being so fortunate, just feel a sense of gratefulness, and compassion for everyone not as fortunate. If you have any extra money, donating to charity to help the less fortunate is one of the best things you can do.

 
If you really want to give back to this world that has given you so much, consider volunteering. It can be for anything, but I’ve noticed that the closer you are to the people you’re volunteering with, the more of an impact it has on both of you. I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity for most of high school. Honestly, I only picked it up because I thought volunteering would look good on a college application. As I got more involved in the volunteer work, my mindset began to change.

 

In Habitat for Humanity, you work to build a house for people who wouldn’t be able to afford one otherwise. The best part is working side-by-side with the people who will live in that house when it’s finished. You can hear their story, and have empathy for them. It gives your work that day a whole new meaning, knowing that what you’re doing directly benefits the people you’re helping.

 

Another result of volunteering is, you guessed it, feeling a strong sense of gratefulness for the situation you’re in. You don’t have to worry about if you’re going to eat that day, you don’t have to worry about sleeping on the street, and you don’t have to worry about having no money at all.

 
You are incredibly fortunate, and have more freedom and opportunity than most people have ever had in the history of the world. Stay aware of this as you live your daily life, and don’t get caught up in the details. Like Bob Marley once said, “Every little thing gonna be alright.”

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