This I Believe- Gratitude

This I Believe: Gratitude-

“People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Truth is, you knew what you had, you just never thought you’d lose it.”  – Clarissa Wild, Author

 

We all share a specific entitlement, it is human nature to do so. We never really realize how much we have until we see the true value of it all; our life experiences shape who we are and who we become. You may be rich, you may be poor, but the sense that we are entitled to something is always there. It could be the luxury of having a new iPhone as soon as it comes out or it may be as simple as having your mother cook for you. It is only when you grasp at the realization that many others go through their daily existence in worse conditions than yours, it is only then that you realize. Realize how much you have had, how much you have to be grateful for, realize to appreciate the opportunities you were given in life, realize your happiness in comparison to others.

One may go through their whole life not understanding how good they have it, how much they did not and will not have to suffer to reach a comfortable point in life. I, on the other hand, had a heartbreaking revelation of the true extent of my comforts, something some will never experience, at the tender age of seven. Many call the homeless trash, filthy and useless; believing it is their fault that led to them ending up in the state they are now. Thinking it is easy to receive a job and they must be lazy, they must not be willing to even try to better themselves. I would know, as I grew up with relatives with similar mindsets, whether they voiced their thoughts or not, their faces showed the whole story. They have never been put into a position like that, they don’t know what these people went through to end up on the streets. Yet they judged, and some, if not most, continue to this day. They, as mentioned previously, did not have to work for anything they were given, they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. As for me growing up, they had a big influence on me and for a while, I grew up thinking the same, for they were older than me so it was only reasonable they know better than me, right? I then started to avoid the homeless on the streets while walking, making sure there was a great distance between them and I. It was simple acts like this that embarrass me when I look back on it because I now realize how shameful I was acting. I was a gullible mind, I was still young, I did not know this was not right, I was just following the lead of my elders.

It was not until I went to India only to find the streets littered with the homeless, young and old, that I realized it was not always their fault for the situation that bestowed upon them. This new understanding did not hit me full force until I saw a girl no older than me ask my mother for some bread, to which my mother obliged. I then saw the girl run away across the street to give the bread to her brother, who looked to be no more than five years of age. I watched on with disbelief as people just simply passed by without a second glance. How unreal it felt to my naive mind that other humans chose to ignore the injustice happening right along the very path they walked, how inhumane the sight was to see. In truth, it was only I that was foolish in the situation, these people had lived in this environment their entire lives, they know they cannot help everyone, they must focus on themselves before they can on others.

We must recognize all the opportunities we are allowed to have, all the freedoms we have. We must be grateful for the life we lead, if not for ourselves then for those who could only dream.

Who could only dream to have loving and caring parents
Who could only dream to have been brought up in a safe environment.
Who could only dream to be able to go to school.
Who could only dream of being able to go to friends and teachers that support them?

Gratitude fills us with happiness and satisfaction, and even if we are not capable of doing anything for others, the least we can do is acknowledge. Acknowledge that we are living a more comfortable and fulfilling life, a privileged one. Acknowledge there are people with worse situations that we cannot even begin to imagine. Acknowledge that there are people who cannot help themselves, for in their dire situations it is up to those of us who are not suffering as they are to help. Have empathy for those that live such lives, for it may be you sitting on the sidewalk one day, begging for money, only to get the indifference of those who mill about. Gratitude helps you understand other’s perspectives, gives us the ability to appreciate, to enjoy the full essence of every moment. It helps us have a better attitude towards life, both of ours and others. I want to show everyone that we should not just devote two days out of a year to giving thanks and giving back to our communities. We can be thankful and give back every day with simple acts of gratitude.

-Amanjot

Reference: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/thankful-thanks-grateful-thank-you-1081614/

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7 thoughts on “This I Believe- Gratitude

  1. Dear Amanjot

    This blog is so incredibly moving, with the powerful way you explained the horror of poverty you witnessed in India it is something that leaves you inspired. You had a good belief and you executed it well with the clever use of your anecdote. I also liked the blip of poetry you put in the middle of your blog, what an awesome way to combine different styles of literature! Reading your this I believe was very touching, I was left thinking about my life. Am I grateful enough? Do I take my blessings for granted? Such questions leave a lot of room for pondering.

    For improvement I would suggest rearranging some of your sentences to get better flow. Your blog has parts of it where the flow is incredible and everything leads into one another but also parts where the flow is not. You will probably find that rearranging sentences will help your writing and your flow come easier to you. I also think that you may have tried to over complicate the last paragraph a tiny bit which lead to it being difficult to read. Simply keeping your ideas and rewriting that section or rearranging what you already have would improve it.

    I truly enjoyed being able to read such an interesting blog. The fact that you chose to acknowledge tragedies such as the poverty in India is very captivating as well because most people tend to turn a blind eye towards it. Ignorance is bliss I guess but I still believe we are wrong for finding comfort in such ignorance and I’m sure you do too. Keep writing, you’re doing a great job!

    Sincerely, Michelle

    1. Dear Michelle,

      Thank you for the kind words, I really appreciate it! Looking back at my blog, I can see what you mean when you say it does not flow. I will certainly take your advice and improve you writing. I look forward to working with you in the future!

      Sincerely,
      Amanjot

  2. Dear Amanjot,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. It helped me realize how blessed we all are to have access to education and the other topics mentioned. I noticed that you incorporated some of the signposts we learnt about in class and I feel as though they made your blog more engaging to the reader. For example, you used “again and again” multiple times throughout. The use of repetition of the phrases: “we must” and “Who could only dream”, helped us to acknowledge the importance of gratitude. Lastly, I really liked how you added the idea that the people who just walk by the less fortunate are not cruel. They are used to seeing this daily and they have to take care of themselves before moving onto others. It gave me the idea of trying to help others out more since I do not have to worry about the things that they do.

    I agree with Michelle on rearranging some sentences to help create a more smooth flow. I also believe that you might be trying a bit too hard to encompass repetition. For example, I noticed that you tried to repeat the word realize in the first paragraph but in the end, the sentence was a bit choppy and confused me.

    Overall, this was a powering piece that will definitely stick to me. It changed my opinion on my current life and helped me realize how fortunate I am. Thank you for sharing this belief with everyone and I am excited to see what else you will write about!

    Sincerely, Sarafina

    1. Dear Sarafina,

      Thank you for the words of encouragement, I am glad you liked my piece. It makes me glad this piece made you think about how your life is currently and how you can improve it for both yourself and others, as that was my intent. I will take your words of improvement and change my piece as suggested. Once again, thank you so much for your kind words. I am looking forward to reading your pieces!

      Sincerely,
      Amanjot

  3. Dear Amanjot,
    I really connected to your “This I Believe” since my family also originates from the same region that is described in your post. I can remember walking into a street bustling with activity, only to notice the poor children or seniors begging for money. This made them subject to cruel treatment, sometimes physical, from the bystanders that had no intention of helping them.

    “It was not until I went to India only to find the streets littered with the homeless, young and old, that I realized it was not always their fault for the situation that bestowed upon them. ” This quote was very powerful and made me feel both anger and pity; these people were assumed to be litter and are demeaned in the eyes of society. There are also many other instances where you created a powerful symbol and metaphor of this comparison. I applaud you for carrying that throughout your whole post, without interrupting the flow. Also, i really enjoyed the transition from a narrative into a poem; it really reinforced your “This I Believe” and was overall very entertaining to read.

    For improvements, I would say that your sentences were sometimes very wordy, and did not always have correct punctuation to neutralize the heavy use of words. I felt like you could convey your meaning and message without the use of that many words, in some cases. However, in other cases, the repetitive use of many words was a stylistic choice and there was no way you could have said it better.

    Although you were in two of my classes last semester, I never actually realized that we both are from the same region in India. I am glad that this class has given us another opportunity to get to know each other.

    Sincerely, Amanat

  4. Dear Amanjot,
    I really connected to your “This I Believe” since my family also originates from the same region that is described in your post. I can remember walking into a street bustling with activity, only to notice the poor children or seniors begging for money. This made them subject to cruel treatment, sometimes physical, from the bystanders that had no intention of helping them.

    “It was not until I went to India only to find the streets littered with the homeless, young and old, that I realized it was not always their fault for the situation that bestowed upon them. ” This quote was very powerful and made me feel both anger and pity; these people were assumed to be litter and are demeaned in the eyes of society. There are also many other instances where you created a powerful symbol and metaphor of this comparison. I applaud you for carrying that throughout your whole post, without interrupting the flow. Also, i really enjoyed the transition from a narrative into a poem; it really reinforced your “This I Believe” and was overall very entertaining to read.

    For improvements, I would say that your sentences were sometimes very wordy, and did not always have correct punctuation to neutralize the heavy use of words. I felt like you could convey your meaning and message without the use of that many words, in some cases. However, in other cases, the repetitive use of many words was a stylistic choice and there was no way you could have said it better.

    Although you were in two of my classes last semester, I never actually realized that we both are from the same region in India. I am glad that this class has given us another opportunity to get to know each other.

    Sincerely, Amanat

  5. Dear Amanjot,

    Ever since your speech on your “This I believe,” I was really looking forward to your piece, and you definitely did not disappoint me! Your piece was incredibly emotional and really connected with me even though I have not seen these levels of poverty. You used many different sentence structures which made your piece very riveting. I liked seeing your use of parallel structure/repetition where you repeated the words “who could only dream.” This made your piece more poignant and also made me better understand your belief. Your anecdote was described and presented very well, which is the main strength of your work.

    I agree with what has been said before about your sentences. While you did use a lot of sentence structures, I found that a lot of the time you’d put many points in one sentence. This made the points you were trying to make less clear, and in some cases, less powerful. Sometimes I felt like if you had made your sentence shorter, it would’ve had a greater effect on your audience. On a few occasions, I had to reread your sentence to better understand what you wanted to express.

    To conclude my message to you, I really loved your piece because of the way it addressed the poverty that exists in India. I am more encouraged now to be more grateful and show more love to those around me. I’ll certainly look at more of your writing on this blog as the semester goes on because of how striking your stylistic choices are and how you seem to put a lot of passion in your work.

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