Nov 162010
Cherry Blossoms by Slonecker

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.

Vital Necessities

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.

Beautiful Family by Ha-Wee

Loved Ones

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.

Girl Smiling 5 by Horton Group


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.

Taking Action

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.

What is the Personal Development Campfire?
Imagine all your favorite personal development bloggers gathered around a campfire. Campfires are great center pieces of relaxed and free flowing conversations. Think of all the wonderful conversations and the wealth of topics that might arise. That’s the idea behind the Personal Development Campfire. Your favorite bloggers all gathered together discussing a new topic every month. (Bloggers click here for details on participating in the Personal Development Campfire.)

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  35 Responses to “5 Reasons to Give Thanks”

  1. Irving,

    Happy to see you join this month’s campfire. I love these five reasons you share they are truly so important. You know what these are some of my key core and personal value that I abide by.

    I love the pictures!

    I love the last one, why wait until we miss someone, we can love and care for them right now. Lovely read. Thanks for being part of it.
    Zengirl @ Heart and Mind recently posted..Giving Thanks- How Gratitude Can Improve Your LifeMy Profile

    • Hi Preeti,

      I am only too happy to join in the campfire because I love the idea.

      It is great that we share the same personal values because we will understand where we are both coming from in our communication. :)

      I am glad you love the pictures. I love the last one too. She is so sweet looking isn’t she? She reminds me of all the things that are truly important in this world.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  2. Hi The Vizier,

    This is a timely reminder that it’s important not only to be thankful for things we have, but also to express our gratitude. We can take people for granted and forget how much others impact our lives.

    A word of thanks can be a boost for someone to encourage them to keep doing what they’re already doing.

    So, thank you for this post! ;-)
    Scott McIntyre recently posted..7 Slow and Steady Steps to Turn Your Passion Into Your JobMy Profile

    • Hi Scott,

      I am glad that you found my article useful. That is always good to know.

      And thank you for your kind words. Know that I appreciate the comments you leave on my blog all the time as well. You have my gratitude. :)

  3. Exactly – I have said the same: I don’t have to lose what I have to know how much I love it – really and truly, I am grateful….!!! Thank you for these sharp reminder about the essence of our lives being in who we are, what we appreciate, what we love, how we live…..and not what we accumulate or what we own….beautifully written but no surprise there!
    Farnoosh recently posted..Listening to my Readers- Launch of Blogworld ebook and the NewsletterMy Profile

    • Hi Farnoosh,

      I am glad that we share the same views on gratitude. You have grasped and summarized the essence of what I am saying so nicely!

      Thank you for your kind words! I am glad you enjoyed the article. :)

  4. I think your last line paragraph says it all. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Do something today. Great advice. I think we all need to make a concious effort to do more of it.

  5. Hi Vizier,
    What a wonderful post and a great reminder of all that we have to be thankful for. In fact, we have everything that we need in every moment, and it is such a valuable exercise to remind ourselves of that several times a day. Our worries are generally focused on the future and our regrets on the past — neither of them are reality. Only this moment is real, and in this moment, we have so much to appreciate. I appreciate your regular kind and thoughtful comments on my blog and your profound insights!

    • Hi Barrie,

      Thank you for your acknowledgment. I always manage to learn something from what you share on your blog.

      I agree that if we can live more in the present moment, we will better appreciate all that we have in our lives. That would cause us to live healthier and richer lives in the process.

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comments! :)

  6. It will be great if more of us can take a moment or two every other day to give thanks for the peace and stability that we enjoy. Many of us do take things for granted. As you’ve said, we don’t need to go through a crisis to express our appreciation. When we are grateful, we automatically shift ourselves into better-feeling thoughts.
    Evelyn Lim recently posted..Inspirational Story- The Rich Merchant in a TsunamiMy Profile

    • Hi Evelyn,

      You’re right. Peace and stability should not be taken for granted. In this day and age anything can happen.

      By actually taking the time to give thanks, we learn to value what we have. In the long run, this may well prevent us from losing the things we hold dear because we make the effort to cherish them.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  7. Hi, I enjoyed reading this post. It is really important to count our blessings. We move through life on automatic pilot sometimes and forget to look around at where we are. Where we really are! Thanks also for mentioning the personal development campfire. I had never heard of it before and it sounds facinating! Thanks so much!

    Dandy recently posted..Accept and be freeMy Profile

    • Hi Dandy,

      I agree fully that we move through life on automatic pilot sometimes. It has always been more efficient this way for me. This is why we take to stop from time to time to count our blessings and give thanks. Maybe you could join the personal development campfire too. It would be great to have you. :)

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  8. Gratitude is so important and I think just about all of us can improve on it.

    Right now I’m typing without any pain whatsoever, using my fingers that I’m truly grateful for. They have done amazing things for me and I anticipate they will continue to serve me in the future as well.

    Hands are really amazing when you think about it. Each movement is so intricate and accurate… we take it for granted because we don’t think about it: But the pinpoint accuracy of what our hands are able to do and accomplish is nothing short of miraculous.

    Good reminder on being grateful. I got a lot of work to do!

    • Hi Bamboo Forest,

      What you say is so true. If I did not have my hands, there would be a whole lot of things that I would not be able to do. I can imagine becoming dependent on others as a result. Our hands are indeed something to give thanks for.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  9. Wonderful! I’m so happy to have you join our campfire this month. You chose some wonderful things to be thankful for and to share with us. Things like good health are often overlooked until we find ourselves ill. It’s good to be thankful for it while we are healthy. And, I love the Dune analogy. Clean water is something else we often overlook.
    Eric | Eden Journal recently posted..Personal Development Campfire – Giving ThanksMy Profile

    • Hi Eric,

      I am glad to be on your campfire this month and I look forward to joining more campfires in the future! :)

      Yeah health is one of the most important things we have in life. Without it, everything else is compromised.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  10. Irving,

    You make some really strong and powerful points. So many people take the small things for granted.

    For example, simple things like basic human rights where people who have them always disregard them and people who would appreciate them have to fight to get them.

    Even beyond that, the concept the basic things that make the world up. How beautiful things can be, the resources available to us that allow us to thrive and even the fact that we are sentient.

    I think it is very important to take a step back and enjoy life not only the little things and what you have, but the facts that we have the ability to exist at all. Great stuff, thanks!
    Steve@Lifestyle Design recently posted..Why Lifestyle Design Starts at HomeMy Profile

    • Hi Steve,

      I always try to remember the small things since it is these things that are easy to miss.

      Giving thanks for human rights and our existence are indeed wonderful points. One way to see what we are taking things for granted is to take a look at what other people in different parts of the world are lacking. That would help to put things in perspective for us.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  11. [...] but it is not really in the true, “Spirit” of the Holiday.  Irving gives us some great reasons to give thanks that we all might take to heart during this holiday season.  If you haven’t already I would like [...]

  12. [...] Here are more reasons why I’m thankful: [...]

  13. I like the last part Irving. I too give gratitude and love for life in general. And I am grateful to the first living cell, because her efforts are responsible for all that is taking place today…

  14. thank you for that amazing post , yes gratitude is extremely important i agree

  15. Another one of my favourite topics – gratitude. A while back, I challenged myself to find three things everyday to be thankful for. Initially, it was easy because there were so many things. O yes, I did not allow myself to be thankful for the same things two days in a row. That really gets you thinking and gives you a fresh perspective on life.
    Anne Sales | Coupon Codes recently posted..CoolhandleMy Profile

    • Hi Anne,

      I love your little challenge. Finding 3 different things to be grateful for everyday does make us sit up and notice the blessings in our lives. It also makes life richer for us because we are more aware of what is happening.

      Thank you for your lovely comments! :)

  16. I’v; reading this piece, realised how much i have taken life itself for granted. I’m taking a time out now to give thanks for life and my family whom i have come to take for granted. Thanks for making realised what life TRULY is all about!

    • Hi Stephanie,

      It is always good to be aware of what we take for granted. Given the hectic pace of life, we can easily overlook what is truly important.

      Being aware is the first step, acting on it is the next. I am glad you are taking time out for your family and to give thanks for your life.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  17. I truly agree that I love your little challenge. Finding 3 different things to be grateful for everyday does make us sit up and notice the blessings in our lives. It also makes life richer for us because we are more aware of what is happening. Great!
    James recently posted..FIFA Soccer 12 Flash NewsMy Profile

    • Hi James,

      I am glad you enjoyed my article. :)

      Being aware of what is happening around us in life is important. It is easy for the daily grind of life to numb us to our surroundings. As you rightly point out, being aware and grateful for what we have does make our lives richer.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  18. Thanksgiving – though a splendid time to stuff your face – also tends to bring out the best in people. It’s a time we remember and share things we’re thankful for, and spend quality time with family and friends.

    • Hi Blinds,

      While we should not wait for special occasions to show our gratitude for and spend time with family and friends, it is still a good opportunity to take advantage of.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

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