“The true value of human life is determined by the extent to which it is used to help others.” Val Halamandaris
One day at my daughter’s house, my daughter and then three year old granddaughter converged by the stairs. My daughter was taking a load of clean laundry up the stairs. My granddaughter noticed that it was her clothes. She stopped and looked up at her mom and said, “You washed my clothes? You did this for me?” “Yes”, my daughter said and my granddaughter said, “Thank you.” I was reminded of the verse “and the child shall lead them.” The look on my granddaughter’s face said it all. It still makes me a little teary-eyed just thinking about it. Her simple act of gratitude for such an everyday occurrence was the most sincere and heartfelt act of gratitude I had ever witnessed.
Gratitude has become a hollow gesture we overplay in our “thank you . . . not a problem” society, when in reality it’s a powerful spiritual value. But in reality, we live in society and every action, word or thought has a consequence on our lives and on other people’s life. Even if we do not realize it, we always make a difference. My granddaughter’s act ignited me to want to affect others with my gratitude in the same way.
You might already be blessed with a lot of things that other people can only dream of but if you are not thankful for them, then you can never achieve true fulfillment. Fulfillment never comes from pining after more, it comes from feeling blessed and grateful for what you already have. There is nothing wrong with aspiring for more though. In fact, you must dream BIG in order to manifest your full potential. However, the Universe blesses us with more when we are grateful for everything we already have.
We were born to help. We are not here just to consume resources, eat, breath, take up space. We are here to make a difference through our lives. “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve” wrote Albert Schweitzer.
What you have to do at that point is to remind yourself that the Law of Attraction ALWAYS works! And if you outwardly show and inwardly feel gratitude life will give you something to be thankful for.
Benefits of Gratitude. Mahatma Gandhi once said that “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Helping others can be an opulent experience. Not only does it provide support to those on the receiving end, it makes you, the helper, feel better too. Helping others has personal, professional, and health benefits. To name a few: Helping others gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment, you feel good about yourself and grateful for what you have, and increases your level of self-esteem and self-confidence. Research suggests that there are mental health and physical benefits to helping others, for example it lessens stress, anxiety and depression, lowers blood pressure and improves overall physical well-being.
Here are a four powerful and free gratitude practices for you to try that will make a big difference in the life of others and your life too.
Treat others how you want to be treated. I believe if you do good deeds to others, the same will be done to you. For example: When you are feeling down, you want others to be compassionate; you want to be treated with love and respect; when you make a mistake, you want to be forgiven and given the benefit of the doubt, a second chance.
Be a good role model. One of the best ways we can influence others is by our own actions. Who we are speaks much more loudly than what we say. Do not think that people are not watching you. They are. And they are registering everything about you consciously and unconsciously. We are ALL role models to someone so let’s be good ones.
Encourage them. “You can do it.” “I know you can.” These are words that are all-too-infrequently voiced. Sincere encouragement can go a long way in helping someone stay the course. The more specific you are, the better the results.
Believe in them. We all have self-doubts from time to time. Our confidence is shaken. We lack the faith in our talents and skills to go after our dreams. Having someone believe in you is priceless. The stories of great men and women are saturated with examples of someone who believed in them even when they did not fully believe in themselves. I personally know this one to be true. Almost four years ago someone took a chance on me and it changed me and my life for the better. That person was Jonathan Grambling who agreed to let me write this column. So John, I thank you for this opportunity. Writing this column, has positively changed me and so many areas of my life, in more ways than I can possibly convey and for that I will be eternally grateful.
In conclusion, if you want more happiness, joy, and energy, then gratitude is clearly a crucial quality to cultivate. It is a fullness of heart that moves us from limitation and fear to expansion and love. When we’re appreciating something, our ego moves out of the way and we connect with our soul. Gratitude brings our attention into the present, which is the only place where miracles can unfold. The deeper our appreciation, the more we see with the eyes of the soul and the more our life flows in harmony with the creative power of the universe.