“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” Cynthia Ozick
Your alarm clock goes off. You stretch, prop yourself up and climb out of bed. You walk to the kitchen, pour yourself a cup of coffee and savor the aroma and the jolt it gives you. You then shower, get dressed, jump into your car, start the engine and begin your day. Sound familiar?
Think about what just happened. Countless blessings occurred that you may not have given a second thought. Just for giggles, let’s count all of the miracles in the above paragraph. Your alarm goes off. This means that you have electricity. Do you know where your electricity came from? Although the invention of electricity isn’t attributed to a single person, the earliest reference was found in the sixth century BC when a Greek named Thales of Miletus discovered that rubbing a fur would make a couple of objects attract one another. Through his experiments, he produced electrical sparks from amber.
During the Renaissance, Italian physicist Girolamo Cardano discovered fundamental aspects of electrical power and magnetism. In 1660, Otto von Guericke invented an electrostatic generator. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that Benjamin Franklin performed his famous experiment with a kite. The power of electricity that we enjoy today took a lot of time and many people to perfect. When you think about electrical power in these terms, it makes your flicking on and off of the light switch quite a marvel.
What about your alarm clock? The first mechanical alarm clock was invented by Levi Hutchins, of New Hampshire, in the United States in 1787. He created the device for his personal use and it only rang at 4am to wake him up in time for work. (Sound familiar?) French inventor, Antoine Redier, patented the mechanical alarm clock in 1847. We may not love our alarm clocks, but they certainly do their job – and that’s a good thing.
Next, you got out of bed. Did you ever consider how many people it took to bring your bed to you? From the growers of the cotton to manufacture the mattress, to the steel mill that formed the coils, to the assembly plant, the retail store and the delivery truck that brought your bed to its final destination, you’re sleeping on the handiwork of thousands.
Because you were able to get up, this means you have full use of your limbs to move you to where you want to go. You walk – you are fortunate to have the strength of healthy legs to do so. You pour yourself coffee – aren’t you glad you didn’t have to participate in the backbreaking task of picking the coffee beans? You also have the advantage of clean water, right from your tap.
You shower – thank goodness for indoor plumbing! You get dressed – having a closet full of choices in your wardrobe. You get into your car and it starts – we don’t have to walk or ride bicycles to work unless we want to. These are all wonders of modern-day technology.
When you consider every single thing that you do during the course of the day and the thousands of people who were involved in making it happen, do you have a choice but to be thankful?
Take the time to consider ALL of your blessings today and be grateful. In her book, “The Magic,” Rhonda Byrne shares a variety of gratitude practices that one can use every day. Start where you are, just start your practice today. You can appreciate by subtraction if you want to – think about what your life would be like if you DIDN’T have any of the above items in your life (No COFFEE? Are you kidding me?)
Are you surprised or extra grateful right now?
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