Could Gratitude change the world?

Today is my birthday.

That is something that for many people would automatically mean it is a happy day. For me it doesn’t come so easily. The long sob story of why I generally dislike my birthday does not make for inspiring reading though.

Instead, let me tell you how incredibly blessed and lucky I am to have had this birthday.

Aside from all of the cake, the unexpected gifts from friends and colleagues and the swarm of good wishes that came my way today (in fact for the last three days) I feel loved. I feel like for a moment the world stopped and remembered how much I care about you all and I feel really appreciated. Feeling appreciated is an incredible thing. It changes how you see yourself as a person. It actually makes you a better person, and want to be a better person, when someone sees the good in you.

I can’t help thinking, if feeling this loved and appreciated can alter my outlook on life so much, how much would it change the world we lived in if every positive thing we did was recognized and appreciated?

How could it affect the government, our businesses and out home relationships if every person felt that the good they do is appreciated?

It definitely bears thinking about.

Most of all though I am grateful to feel grateful. Or should I say, I am grateful for what I am grateful for, but I am also glad that I can see the value in those things while I still have them.

For example: I can’t think of anything luckier than having my mom cook dinner for me on my birthday. I am so incredibly grateful to have a loving, doting mom who still cooks me my favourite foods (even if I am a vegetarian) she slaved away all day so that I could bring my family over, sit on my bum, and eat her awesome cooking!

I am so grateful to have her in my life.

I am also so grateful to be able to appreciate her to the extent that I do while she is still around. All too often we realise how lucky we were to have something when it’s gone. I think a big part of being a grown up (nearly there) is to be able to recognize how lucky you are to have something while you have it. I think it’s a big part of being happy and feeling good about your life.

I have been similarly blessed to have a vast and colourful array of amazing people in my life. Too many to mention them all here, but every one of them special and beautiful in their own random way. The good wishes today were felt. I feel as if I have bathed in good energy, love and light.

Today I truly feel as if it is my birthday.

And I think I know why. Because aside from the fact that a crazy number of people wished me a whole lot of joy – I also really appreciated those people.

When I started to feel gratitude and appreciation for the good things people were saying I was forced to accept that the things they were saying are true. How else can you feel gratitude for something if you don’t believe it’s sincere?

When I started to believe in the sincerity of the good wishes I was forced to accept that the nice things that people were saying, the kind wishes of love and joy and good fortune, must be deserved by me.

Being appreciated and feeling that you deserve the kindness you receive is a wonderful thing. It does wonderful things to your outlook on life. It does wonderful things to who you are and who you strive to be.

I think we should all try a lot more appreciation and recognition. I think we might just end up living in a nicer world, if we all just showed our appreciation more easily.

You never know, the world may surprise you. I still believe that someday kindness will change the world.

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