Dr. Amit Sood says, "We forget the million different blessings and anchor our present emotions on some little reward."
During a flight I saw a child inconsolably crying; she had been denied a second lollipop. Her dad, keeping her in his lap, was valiantly using his work-in-progress skills. He seemed patient and kind, but no matter his efforts, he could not reach her. Her world had turned upside down at the prospect of a frustrated reward that she claimed to be rightfully hers.
I looked at the child thinking, “If only this little girl knew how fortunate she is.” She was not among the 150 million orphaned children or the billion souls with no access to clean water. She was not among hundreds of millions of children who were born into poverty, who have a disability, or who are habitually abused. Her parents seemed to be nice people who cared for her. Until she learns not to fixate on a denied second lollipop and develops a more mature brain, however, she won’t understand any of this.
We grown-ups aren’t too dissimilar. We forget the million different blessings and anchor our present emotions on some little reward. We lose the big picture. I think it’s a great loss.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If you can see, hear, and walk; have a roof above your head; live in a warm home; and have access to clean water and food, you are better off than billions of people. You can choose to remember and be grateful for these blessings. Remembering your blessings will multiply them.
May you remember your infinite blessings; may you decorate your blessings with gratitude.
Read Dr. Sood's blog posts and follow @AmitSoodMD on Twitter.Dr. Sood is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program on Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in Minnesota. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.