What Are You Grateful For?
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
What Are You Grateful For?Lessons from a war veteran.
A few years ago, I watched an interview on television with a Vietnam veteran who’d been a fighter pilot. On one mission, he was shot down and captured by the Viet Cong. He was sent to the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prisoner-of-war camp, where he spent seven years starving and being repeatedly beaten.
When he returned home after the war, this man wrote a book about his experience. He said that he wasn’t bitter about what had happened, because it had taught him the meaning of appreciation. Not a day goes by now when he doesn’t appreciate the fact that he’s holding a cup of coffee and can get a refill if he wants one. Each time he steps into the shower, he’s grateful for being able to freshen up, thankful for the hot water and soap.
As I listened to this man, I realized that I had a very different scale on which I listed the things I appreciate. He made me notice that I’d completely eclipsed the everyday pleasure and ease of my life. Ever since that interview, I’ve looked at everything I do and have, and all the ways life is so easy for me through eyes filled with gratitude.
Where once on my list of gratitude I had only the “biggies”—such as enough money and good health—now I realize that being able to have coffee, water, tea, and any and all kinds of food and clothing is nothing short of a miracle. I have a life full of choices. I’m living in a free country. And each one of these facts has countless other gratitude spin-offs. So when you think about what you’re grateful for, start small and build from there.