Updated: Apr 30
Growing up in a South-Eastern household, every morsel of food my mother ever fed me was often accompanied by a spoonful of (unsolicited) conventional wisdom. One such frequently cited adage went thus, "you must be hopeful when you have nothing and grateful when you have everything." Like many other things, I did my part as an obedient son and took to heart this hand-me-down piece of advice.
One fateful evening in the thick of winter, however, forced me to reconsider this entire philosophy. I remember zooming down the meandering roads of the Virginia countryside with the windows rolled down and my jacket zipped up when I was suddenly struck not by the piercing arctic wind but by the inescapable beauty of human existence, and even more importantly, the ability of man to comprehend that beauty. Upon finding a torrential downpour of tears cascading down my cheeks much like the gravity-defying droplets of water swimming up my windshield, my mind shuffled through the slideshow of events that had occurred that day, that week, that month, to search for a psychological explanation for this perverse physiological reaction.
It was only after a few more similarly puzzling meddlings of fate that I came to the comforting-yet-unsettling conclusion that gratitude may actually have nothing to do with the present state of affairs. It mattered very little whether my life was in rein or ruin.
It dawned on me that nearly every profuse moment of gratitude I had ever experienced had rarely every coincided with moments in my life where I had been extraordinarily blessed. As such, what had spurred these surges of gratitude was instead the realization that the little things in life, are in fact, rarely ever that. Rarely are they ever little. The unbounded vastness of life in its minuscule doses pricked my skin concurrently, like a thousand blunt needles. It became clear that at a fundamental level, gratitude, to me, had far less to do with having, and far more to do with giving. Giving thanks, giving happiness, giving yourself.
About the Author
When he isn't consumed by chronic procrastination, Aayzed spends his time reveling in cult classic films, concocting wild conspiracy theories and chatting up strangers every chance he gets. And food. Copious amounts of mouth-watering, sweat-inducing, life-shattering food.
He's incredibly drawn to the written word, and makes vain attempts of his own at exploring his curiosities by way of his blog.
Check out his writer's page to explore more of his work, or if you're interested in his half-baked theories and peculiar observations on life, check out his blog at analogdaydreams.com.