Are Your Blessings VisibleAuthor: Byron Pulsifer, © 2007
Why is it that we are always complaining? Are we responsible for our complaints, or do we complain because we have a valid reason to do so?
Have you ever caught yourself saying any of these things: there just isn't enough money to go around, the taxes keep going up, my work is driving me batty, I can't seem to get a raise in pay, or I am always blocked from getting the promotion I deserve?
For those of us who are fortunate enough to live in a democratic society, we often complain about the smallest issues.
And, they are small issues when you take a moment and put yourself in a place where weekly suicide bombers kill at will.
And, isn't it just a little sad to think that we often here those around us, or ourselves, complain as though we lived in a war torn society where families are never sure if they'll have enough food for a few more days, or even if they'll be alive to see their children grow.
Why Is This?
Do you think that this is because we take for granted what we have?
Do we expect more only to satisfy our self-serving interests?
Our blessings, in a free society, are visible when we step back and survey the world around us.
Our blessings are invisible, however, if we are only self-serving. Undoubtedly, there are some issues over which you have little or no control.
Here are a few blessings we share in common:
- the freedom to worship without persecution, without discrimination or restrictions
- the opportunity to attend a local school
- the freedom to gather and protest without persecution
- to enroll in higher education where the total cost is offset by government programs
- to travel without restrictions amongst our provinces in Canada or amongst states in the U.S.
- a democratic government that is elected by the people
- free speech
- a choice to reside where you want without restrictions
- access to sufficient food supplies
- social assistance programs for those unable to work due to a variety of circumstances
- a consistent and continuous electrical, propane, oil, gas to heat our homes
- a steady supply of gasoline for our vehicles
- government restrictions on how products are manufactured so that we are not physically harmed
- a drinking water supply that is abundant, clean and healthy
- a national armed forces dedicated to keep us safe from external attacks
- a national security force empowered to protect us from terrorist attacks
- police forces across our country to serve and protect us
- and, the list goes on and on.
For Every Problem There Is A Solution
I am convinced that you could add many more blessings to the list above. However, does this serve to eliminate complaining? Or, do we continue to moan and complain? Or, do we get up from our comfortable, padded chairs and look beyond the issue and strive for a solution.
I'm sure you recognize that it is much easier to complain than it is to engage in finding a solution to your complaint. And, I believe you know the reason why it is easier to complain, don't you? Part of the issue is that to move from complaining to action means that you accept that you own the problem, or that you are responsible for part of the issue, or that you take responsibility as one who is directly affected. For those who seek to resolve or change that which is objected to requires action of some kind or another.
The action taken can be in multiple ways. One such action is to solicit the gathering together of all those who agree that action is required to resolve the agreed upon issue. Now, having said that, it is not always easy to gather complainants together, nor is it easy to find a consensus as regards to the main issue. No matter what you may see as the predominant or most crucial issue, working with other people to agree with you is part of the reason that many complaints, however defined, are not resolved or addressed.
I was reminded recently of the challenge of coming to an agreement on the main issue. In this case, the mission and operation of a social group was declared to be in need of change by several of its' members. In an attempt to determine what the main issue was several of the members were approached. Each was asked separately to declare the most pressing issue that needed to be addressed. You may already suspect the outcome of these discussions before I tell you.
In brief, each person canvassed held different views concerning the major issue. In fact, according to my discussion, there was more than one issue, and, hence, no major commonality. This lack of commonality thus begins the core issue to resolve before any focused action can take place. To attempt to proceed with any of the variety of voiced issues would already be doomed to failure because whatever issue was declared to be primary was not in accordance with every persons' views.
So, you may be asking, what has this got to do with blessings? The answer, for those blessed to live in a democratic society, should be obvious. We have choices; we have options; we have protection; and, we have freedom. All of these blessings are not available to everyone in far too many parts of the world. For example, North Korea harshly controls what you can read, do and say. Do you think the citizens of North Korea have the same blessings as we do in democratic societies?
Our Advantages, Our Blessings
For each problem we face, we have the opportunity to make it better, or to resolve the issue, or to work toward a positive change. We aren't beaten to the ground, we are not incarcerated for trying to make changes, and we aren't cast out to live a nomad's life.
No More "Poor Me"
It is far too easy to cry "poor me" than to set yourself into motion by taking action.
Yes, blessings are everywhere if we have the insight to open our eyes. Problems are everywhere yet they pale in comparison to the plight of hundreds of thousands upon thousands of others less fortunate, less blessed.
If you have a job you don't like, at least you have a job. If your job is driving you batty, stop complaining and take action to either change your job environment, or find another job.
If you don't have the skills to get a better job, whom should you blame? Take responsibility and accept the blame. After all, you have the choice. You are blessed with the opportunity to acquire new skills from thousands of schools, or hundreds of online courses to choose from.
What Do You See?
Blessings are real and visible when viewed from cleansed eyes; eyes that can see possibilities, not problems; eyes that can see opportunities, not spite; and, eyes that can see new days ahead not a life filled with excuses.
Before you cry "foul", open your eyes and you will see all the blessings that you may have been taking for granted. Each day is a new day; a day to start with positive actions based on the blessings you have. A new day to recognize and give thanks that each and every blessing you have may be one or more or all that other people can only dream about.
Think about this: would you be able to even voice a complaint out loud if you lived in a country without the blessings you now enjoy?
Isn't it time for you to be thankful for all the blessings you have; isn't it time to appreciate the opportunities you have; and isn't it time to exercise action instead of complaining?
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Reflect on your present blessings of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." Charles Dickens
"As we learn to be more grateful for the blessings we have, we tend to be more positive." Stephen Shaner
"I have always thought it would be a blessing if each person could be blind and deaf for a few days during his early adult life. Darkness would make him appreciate sight; silence would teach him the joys of sound." Helen Keller
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