Gratitude Versus Entitlement
What problems or challenges are presently in your life?
I am not a betting person, but I will make you this wager. If I asked this question to 100 people I know, at least 99 people would be able to think of one or more problems that occupy their mind.
I will make you another bet. Of those 99 people, I would say that only 20 have problems, challenges, or issues that are really big deals.
Let’s put things into perspective. Here are some problems that are worth worrying about:
• 22.000 children will die today due to poverty.
• 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty.
• Nearly half of deaths of children under five is due to poor nutrition.
• 805 million people do not have food to eat today.
• 750 million people do not have adequate access to clean drinking water.
• 2,300 people will die today from inadequate drinking water or poor sanitation.
• ¼ of all humans (1.6 billion people) live without electricity.
• 53.25% of marriages in the world are not made with free choice.
While I stress about how much I hate my job, or get upset because I am stuck in a traffic jam, or worry that people are judging me for some reason or another; others are watching their children starve to death, or struggling to find safe water to drink.
I am lucky that my life choices go past trying to survive.
I am blessed with the opportunity to choose.
I have the chance to explore opportunities and choose what I want from life. Many people don’t have the chance to make life choices – they are just trying to stay alive.
Opportunity is priceless and having a chance is a gift not an entitlement.
And this is where we uncover the problem: We take for granted the opportunities we have, and then dwell and obsess on trivial matters.
I keep a daily gratitude journal and spend time every day thinking about what I am grateful for. But I have been doing it wrong. I have been expressing gratitude for what I have, instead of showing gratitude for my opportunities and blessings.
I have access to education, medical care, clean water, electricity, safe housing, well paid jobs, and as much food as I please. I can follow my passions such as playing sports. learning musical instruments, reading, writing, swimming, watching movies. I have the opportunity to create my life how I choose.
I am privileged not just for WHAT I have, but for the OPPORTUNITIES I have.
By forgetting I have these opportunities, I am behaving with entitlement.
Entitlement is the opposite of gratitude!
Practising gratitude is more than focusing on what you have. It is about being conscious of the opportunities that are available to you and the blessings you take for granted.
Now is the time to stop acting entitled and take stock of EVERYTHING in your life you have to be grateful for.
So how about that problem of yours. How important is it really?
Related Article: Practicing Gratitude: The 101 of Gratitude
Want to find happiness by finding the incredibleness already in your life? Sign up to the 10 day gratitude challenge.