Day 15: Before you take that next bite…

An expression of gratitude at Kokoro

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

By Lucila McElroy

I consider  myself a person prone to awareness, and expressions, of gratitude.  And I realize that my view has been limited.

Here is what I mean.  I can easily be grateful for food on my shelves.  However, that food came from well stocked grocery store shelves.  Which in turn came from hard working store employees, which in turn came from well established distribution networks, which in turn came from hard working long haul truck drivers, which in turn came from people picking crops in places like Florida and California.

I have well stocked shelves due to the efforts of othersOthers who I don’t see or know.  I am able to eat, drive down roads,  fly to far away places, and enjoy the benefits of electricity due to the efforts of others.

My gratitude now extends further than what I  see which changes my experience of life.  I am happier and life seems richer; more enhanced because of my focus on the hard work and goodness of others.  Seemingly mundane experiences like eating, shopping for food, going to work, driving or parenting are now richer and infused with joy.  This happens when I allow myself to see beyond what I can see.  An apple in my fruit basket now represents the effort, and goodness, of others.  Those people with sore backs at the end of  twelve hour days made it possible for me to eat.

How have the efforts, and kindness, of those you don’t see benefited you?  And how are you grateful?