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mardi 24 décembre 2013


Thinking of MM in BE, MC in KL, CL in CWB
Do you have a mother, doctor?
Yes, I do
When was the last time you saw her?
I hesitated.
Be grateful, doctor, that you have a mother. Go and see her. I cant see my mother even if I wish to, she has gone to the other side.
The very same HoCank Indian also taught me about sacrifice to achieve your goals, then gratitude to show your joy of achieving it.
Most people fail to offer gratitude, she said ruefully.
My close friend in KL, an accountant by profession, but a life-coach by avocation, talked about Gratitude List. She had heard about it while being a student of Yogic Philosophy in India.
Each morning make up a list of five people you wish to say thank you. For the first few days, I deliberately thought of the five, the ones close to my heart, but later on the list began filing with people from the subconscious: the cook in the house in Jamaica who lovingly made my morning coffee, for instance. It was good to be reminded of them, it gave me an opportunity to thank them for the pleasures their actions had brought me. The very thought of remembering brought a sense of peace to my mind as well.
Simple actions can evoke strong emotions, in you and in others. A smile can elicit powerful emotions, and who knows where it would lead to? One thing for sure, you would feel better. Just observe how few people smile, how often they return your smile, and what lengths they would go to avoid any sort of emotional contact with you. Who loses? We both gain if the connection is made.
Two of my strongest friendships started with a smile or a returned smile! Recently in Isla de Pascua, a smile led to an invitation to stay at their home on my return visit! In Honolulu, a smile at the front desk manager  led to him giving his personal email so that he can make sure I have the best room at the best price on the next visit! I did smile at the Filipina at Hotel Hilton Salalah expecting nothing but a smile back, but so much more pleasant emotions have been transmitted since then!
We all need each other, and what better than do something for the other? The Jewish philosophers, in Sayings of Our Fathers, explain, If I am only for myself, what am I ? and if not now, when?
Is there a better time than now?
Sitting under balmy skies, at an open air restaurant, enjoying my breakfast, I was delighted to see that the local newspaper had an article,
Gratitude Gratifies, enhances Well Being.
Can we use this “tool” to deal with everyday problems of modern day living such as stress, anxiety, feelings of insecurity etc?
In the ancient philosophies, gratitude was part of their life, but in our western world and its hectic life, we have forgotten, even to say a simple Thank You to people who do constantly favours to us, at restaurants, at shops, at work. So the psychologists, in their book, “Gratitude Works!” suggest keeping a journal (presumably written by hand?), writing letters to kind people and showing the letters on face to face meetings. In 21 days they report they felt more optimistic, felt better and felt more connected!
What was amazing was a study that was quoted. Writing down three acts of kindness that made the writer felt grateful for, was as effective at increasing well being, equal to spending one hour with a therapist! Wow! The power of our connection to the mind!!
We teach our children to be grateful, not for the sake of being polite, but also for them to understand gratefulness. Studies have shown that children who understand gratefulness tend to be better at academic performance! Seeing the recent results from an International study of performance of children from various countries, most of the top spots were taken by Asians, the USA was way down the ladder, and perhaps there is a connection? Perhaps not understanding gratefulness be one of the reasons?
So my advice to those struggling with everyday problems exaggerated by the social traps they are in, is as follows.
Set a goal for yourself with regard to what ails you. Keeping a gratitude journal would help you reach it.