Day 5 of the Positive Affirmation Challenge from Personal Excellence (http://personalexcellence.co) is all about gratitude.
“I am grateful for everything in my life”.
Despite the complaining which I certainly indulge in, as do others I come across, I am conscious of just how much I have to be grateful for.
So it rains a lot in Britain. It may throw the schedule at Wimbledon or cricket grounds. But switch on the news to see rains which destroy homes and communities over the world. Public transport could be better. Try using it in many developing nations, as I have, and you begin to appreciate the comfortable conditions and relatively short journeys to get anywhere.
I’ve worked at a nursery school in Kenya where the toilet was literally a hole in the ground and visited a rural school in India where children were taught with very few resources. Everyday I have clean water, books and access to the internet, yet I’ll still curse the connection speed. I’ve been driven through the downtown Cairo traffic on a Saturday evening yet I complain to myself about having to wait a few minutes at traffic lights at the end of my road.
Living in the moment of complaint without taking a step back to consider the bigger picture is something I could certainly do to overcome. I am conscious that when I complain I am reacting to the world not being quite as I would like it at that moment, when the reality is the world is mostly the way I like it, most of the time. I have health, freedom of choice and the benefits of living in a small, caring community.
If I ditch the complaining, I can focus on what I can progress and what I can be thankful for. I can focus on taking action against the things that are totally justified as matters of complaint-the real poverty, violence, discrimination and lack of opportunity still present throughout the world. I can move from a negative and inward looking position, to one that is open and flexible enough to move forward.