In early October, Dear Mishu posted a survey for her followers - What are you grateful for? The choices were Family, Pets, Money, or Other. Pets and family were the overwhelming choice, with pets having a slight edge over family (!).
The results weren’t entirely surprising, but what was most exciting was the outpouring of gratitude in the comments. People freely expressed their love and appreciation for their pets, their children, their friendships, their health, the fact that they have a roof over their heads and don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. It was touching to see the outpouring of gratitude and affection in all of the comments, and it may have been one of Dear Mishu’s most commented posts.
What didn’t people mention? Nobody mentioned money or even a job, or any of the external trappings of success that it seems so many of us spend our time thinking and talking about. No one mentioned their new sofa, their kitchen renovation, the sleek bicycle they recently purchased or their new car.
The question is then, why do we find ourselves spending so much time and energy talking and thinking about things that don’t really matter to us? I mean sure, people do talk about their kids, family and pets a lot, but they also spend a lot of time focusing on things that didn’t even make it onto their lists of things to be grateful for. Maybe it’s because those things are so precious they don’t want to talk about them. Or maybe it’s because we lose track in our day to day lives of the things that matter.
It’s so easy to get distracted when we’re bombarded by commercials and advertisements that sell us on buying something as the solution to all of our problems. It seems like in this kind of environment, when what we value is so different than what we’re being told to value every day, the only solution is to periodically check in and ask yourself: What am I grateful for? And then follow up on that question with: Am I living in a way that reflects those values and if not, how can I change that?