On Practicing Gratitude

wealthymattersFor the last couple of months, I have been practicing gratitude. I believe that doing so forces us to ‘be mindful’ as the Buddhists put it. That way we become more aware of what is happening to us at any given moment and we start living each moment more consciously and so get more out of life. Also if we get into the habit of being grateful for something, we will be conscious of its importance, and so unlikely to do or allow anything to be done to destroy what we regularly give thanks for. So, if we are regularly grateful for the food we eat, which we are aware of comes from our farm, and so and so helped grow it and transport it, we are likely to value the farm and the people who work there and their skills. We are unlikely to let the farm run to ruin or sell it out of hand. We are unlikely to disrespect the people who work there and lose the benefit of their abilities. And ultimately, all these things that we surround ourselves with are symbols of our wealth. If fact our wealth comes from these production systems we control. So, if we’d rather be wealthy and remain wealthy, practising gratefulness is a good exercise. Just, set aside a few seconds a day to mentally count the many good things you have enjoyed in the course of the day, and get started on practicing gratitude.

These days, as I give my home and all its contents a good and thorough going over, its not surprising that in my nightly gratitude sessions, a few of my treasured possessions or new acquisitions come up for enumeration. So, if I picked up this or that trifle as a souvenir a couple of decades ago and now realize its actually valuable, hey I have some easily acquired wealth to thank the fates for! And if I am now able to cheaply and easily pick up something or other that was at one time so out of my reach, I have occasion to thank the fates for the easy availability of some or other thing today and/or my increased ability to afford it now.

Speaking of increased ability, I am reminded that its not so much that my money that has increased so much in the last few decades,as my access to knowledge, markets, communication and transport. As a result I am able to do so much more so much more easily. Think! Thirty years ago, if I wanted something made in Russia, I would have had to have someone going there actually fetch it for me. Today, its as simple as getting online, locating a seller online, paying them by card online and having them courier it over. How much simpler can things get than this? It is this increased ability of ordinary people round the world to interact and improve their lives that fills me with optimism.

India has banished famines, though malnutrition still poses a challenge.During my childhood, seeing naked children and barefooted people on Mumbai roads was unavoidable. We still see the homeless on our roads, but even these unfortunate people seem to all have managed to procure clothes and footwear. In the same way perhaps start-ups, such as this might in future help us solve the housing shortage issue.


About Keerthika Singaravel

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