Life is transient. We come into this world with nothing and when it is time to go, we leave with nothing. Yet while we live, it is all too easy to forget that we have very limited time. On the contrary, we feel as if we have too much time and as a result, take many things for granted. As 2010 draws to a close, yet another year in my life has passed. I am not going to wait until I lose the things I hold dear before I appreciate their value. Instead, I would like to take this time to give thanks.
The first thing I want to give thanks for is good health and freedom from any ailments, disabilities or injuries. I remember how I fractured and dislocated my little toe by accident a few years ago. Up until that point, I never thought much of my little toe. But I quickly realized its value when I had trouble getting around. The human body has no spare parts. A damaged or injured body part will affect the body’s overall performance. Similarly, if I were ill or suffered from a chronic ailment, I would not be able to do or enjoy anything of importance. On top of all that, I would also be a burden to the people around me. Thankfully, my health this year has been great.
When there is an abundance of something, it is easy to take that thing for granted. Oversupply leads to a corresponding fall in value and demand. Take water for example. After reading Frank Herbert’s Dune, I have come to realize how vital water is for survival. The planet Dune was a barren desert. Water was so scarce that the people had to wear suits to recycle their body fluids. They even took great effort to avoid losing a drop of moisture from their bodies. Now, if you had a one-litre bottle of mineral water, you would be a rich man on Dune. I give thanks for not having to worry about a lack of air, food, water or shelter in my life.
Family and friends give meaning to life. It would truly be a bleak existence if there were no one whom I cared for. Thankfully, love and support is a two-way street. I could not have made it to where I am today without my family and friends. And I know that I will continue to depend on their love and support for the days and years ahead. Without my family and friends, I am nothing and I have nothing. I am therefore thankful for every person in my life that I call family or friend.
Peace and Stability
I was born in Singapore during a time of peace and prosperity. As such, I have never had any violent upheavals in my life. My good fortune aside, I am keenly aware of how fragile this peace and stability is. All it takes is for some war or natural disaster to happen and that would change my life forever. Take war for example. It is an ugly part of humanity’s history. Everyday there is some conflict going on somewhere in the world and the common people suffer because of it. Then there are natural disasters. The recent tsunami of 2004 claimed countless lives in many countries and made many people homeless. With these events in mind, I am thankful for the peace and stability in my life.
Lastly, I give thanks for life in general. I am grateful for people, animals and nature that make this planet rich and beautiful. Yes, I am aware that humanity is responsible for many evils. But we are also capable of great good. With the different types of people come their vibrant histories and cultures that add colour and depth to the world. Yet it would be a shame if life were only limited to human beings. Thankfully, animals provide a welcome variety. One of the best experiences I had this year was playing with and watching my friend’s kitten grow into a lovely cat. Finally, there is nature. Some of the most moving sights on Earth are the result of nature’s beauty.
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. But there is no need to wait until you lose something before you appreciate its true value. Take the time right now to reflect on what you hold dear in life and give thanks for them. By being aware of and treasuring each moment, you will live a life without regrets.
What have you taken for granted? What are you grateful for in life? Do share your thoughts and comments below.
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