The more we see something the more invisible it becomes to us. We take for granted things that we once desired, things that are essential for our well-being, valuable things, treasures, wonderful things and extraordinary people who enriches our lives. The problem is that the consumption society in which we live has made us blind. We have lost all sense with what is really important, and we have focused all our energy in less important things. The funny thing is we always realize how important something was when we lose it. That is the moment when we learn to give something the value it deserved.
Once upon a time there was a magic world. It was full of wonders and treasures. It was so perfectly designed that only an expert craftsman could have made such a wonderful piece; it was so beautiful, so magnificent, so extraordinary… It was the best masterpiece ever created. This paradise called “Earth” was compound of minerals, water, mountains, oceans, trees, flowers, beautiful lands, lakes, beautiful creatures, fruits, seeds, vegetables, and above you could see during the day a blue sky, and a big sun or water falling from the sky, or wonderful snowflakes, and during the night you could see a shiny moon, and a dark night full of stars.
This world still exists; it is the world you live in. It is the jewel in which you are standing right now, a paradise that you missed by being too focused on other less important things. When was the last time you actually stopped everything you were doing and you contemplated what this world has to offer? When was the last time you enjoyed all the treasures of this planet? So many beautiful colours, aromas, flavours, sounds and textures and we took them for granted, how can we be so blind?
“The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
The main problem with us is that we are constantly craving things that we do not have, but we always forget the things we already have. Once we get what we want, another thing takes its place, and the thing we wanted in the first place quickly loses its value. This not only happens with material things, but with everything around us. We take for granted material possessions, we take for granted the food we eat, the water we drink, we take for granted our health, we take for granted the people we love, we take for granted the nature around us, and we take for granted our time on this earth.
It turns out that I smile a lot, and in these moments that is something unusual. I remember someone who once asked me: Why are you always smiling? To which I replied: because life is beautiful, and with a smile he nodded. I mean how could I not smile? Simply look around you. We have everything we need, life is more wonderful than hundreds of years ago, everything is much simpler, we live in a world of opportunities, and still we insist on being sad and angry either because we always search for more things we do not need, or because we are attached to things we no longer have, while we belittle the things we have.
“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick
The real problem of taking things for granted is that we forget to take care of them running the risk of losing them. That is why our planet is in jeopardy and with that our own existence, because we are so used to its beauty, so used of its existence, so used to its resources of water, air, and life that we are not paying attention to the damage we are causing to it. We take for granted our health that is why we not take care of our body putting in risk our own lives. We take for granted our family and that is why we forget to see them not knowing that one day they will not be here, we take for granted our partners that is why we do not give them the love they deserve forcing them to leave us. We take for granted our time, that is why we do not spend it on things that really matter, depleting the most important thing we have.
Close your eyes for a minute and imagine how your life would look like if you didn’t have the things you already have. Your family gone, friends gone, the person you love gone, the things you possess gone, your health gone, no more sun, no more rain, no more mountains, the trees gone, the birds and all animals extinct, your house gone, imagine that there is no water left nor food, no more air to breathe, no more of the things you once had, no more freedom, no more time.
“There’s a lot that is good in your life-don’t take it for granted. Don’t get so focused on the struggles that you miss the gift of today.” – Joel Osteen
That would be a nightmare, isn’t it? Do you want to know something? There are people who are already experiencing that nightmare. Here on this earth, while you take for granted all the things you have and you suffer for the things you don’t, there are people with less that you have, and if we are not careful with our actions, if we do not stop polluting our planet, killing every animal, cutting every tree, if we do not end with every war, this nightmare will become true, and we will lose it all, and thus we will realize that the things we took for granted, were the things that made our heart beat.
Let’s take at least 30 minutes a day to contemplate and be grateful for all the things we have. Let’s stop what we are doing and enjoy the company of our loved ones, let’s admire the nature around us, let’s enjoy the essential and wonderful things of our daily lives. Life is a wonderful place, you only need to become aware of it, enjoy it, love it, and protect it!
Be here, be present, enjoy the moment, be grateful with what you have, and smile because you can!