Today, due to the recent lessons I have experienced in my life, I wish to discuss to important aspects of our modern civilization and each one of us separately – gratitude and value. What should we be grateful for? What is value? What can be considered to be valuable? And why the problems with have with gratitude and value create other problems, that strike our civilization like a deadly illness?
It appears that gifts, graititude and subjective value are essential elements which need to be reinstated into our society, if we wish to be healed, as an entire civilization. The lessons which I wish to provide today are based on three personal experiences, which became a part of my life and my path as a healer.
Gratitude is important if we wish to heal our life. Yet often, we take things for granted. A lot of New Age teachers reminds us:
Be grateful for things you already have.
But we often forget about things we already have. It was March of 2013 when I realised it. One day, I was sitting in my family home, to which I paid a short visit, as I normally lived in another city at the time. My mother prepared a meal – nothing special, I thought at first. My family was poor, and it remained poor when the experience I describe took place.
So I came, my mother prepared a meal, I ate it and I complained within the boundaries of my mind – it was tasty, yet it was very simple and not enough for a man of my posture. I was quite disappointed – of course, I hide all me motions at the time. Later on, I was enjoying a cup of tea in my old room, sitting there alone. And then, it hit me – I should be grateful for the meal that my mother prepared for me, because even if she doesn’t have much money, she cares about me, and she does her best. First of all, I got so used to my own meals I used to prepare for myself that I forget how important is the gift of food at all. Second of all, I took the fact of receiving food from my mother for granted. I didn’t really thought about the importance of the gift behind the meal itself. And then, I felt gratitude. Such things happen when you walk the path of Reiki.
Another experience happened few days later. I was visiting my fiancee’ family for a couple of days, and I happened to spend few days before the Easter. The family was quite Catolic, and they participated in a fast before the Easter, which is traditional in Poland. During that time, one does not eat much. Being a bit hungry, I complained about this with my fiancee. Then, another realization hit me. I got so used to the fact (as it was not my first visit) that there’s a lot of food in that house, that I took it for granted. And when the fast was on, I complained – while I should be grateful for the fact they fed me for so long without complaining themselves.
The fact that I complained is a symptom of my own problems that dwell within my soul – problems, which I explore and analyze, and learn upon – this is what I call true spiritual growth. The fact that we take so many things for granted is a symptom of an illness that strikes our civilization. Beside the fact that I felt bad about myself for quite a while, these two experiences helped me realize that we often take things for granted – while in reality, we should care about them and we should be grafeful. We – as people living on Earth – do not care about so many things.
I do not wish to tell you that you should care about people because they work in hardship, no. I wish to point you to a different problem – we live in an age of separation, in which we simple do not care about anything that we have today. We take it for granted – it’s always there. But in reality, behind every product, piece of furniture, building and piece of vegetables, there are living people standing. We do not think about them – but if they would decide to give up their life, who would give you food, buildings and furniture? But most of all, we do not care for things that those we love do for us – we take these things for granted.
Charles Eisenstein, in his great book,, explained the problems that modern economy of separation presents; problems, in which the fact that we treat things like we just don’t care. „I can always buy a new one”, one says – this often refers to products. But a bigger problem grows behind the walls of small houses – a sickness that destroys entire families and relationship. People treat family members and close friends with disrespect by thinking that it’s people’s responsibility to provide them with everything they need. They take thigns for granted.
In reality, there is a lot of effort to be made if one wishes to prepare a food, or offer a present, or to show support – all of this is a gift. People give to each other. And those are real people behind real gifts – we know them, we even care for them. One of the ways to care for them is to show gratitude – and never complain because the gift was small.
If you cannot give a lot, then give a little.
Because in the end, the gift is a gift – free of charge, but an expensive one from the heart.
Whenever you come back to your family house, or whenever you visit someone’s else family, do not take things for granted – everything people do for each other is a gift, one that requires effort, resources, but primary, positive intentions and emotions. Thus, learn to be grateful, even if yo receive a little – because in the end, you have received something greater than material goods – you have received care from others. And for this, you should be grateful.
Value is perceived individually. It is not just a set of digits on a price label, it is something more – something related to emotions and intentions, and, eventually, the gift itself. Another experience from my personal life taught me so.
Once, my fiancee received a gift from her brother, a small, yet fresh and new iPod. A moment the gadget was unpacked, I begun to criticize – after all, I do not like the producer, for many reasons. I tried to help my fiancee install the software necessary for using the iPod, and still, I criticized. At some point, she broke into tears – not many of them, but still. Another realization hit me. There I was, criticizing a gift – an expensive iPod – which was given to my fiancee, living in a family that cannot afford this kind of stuff, by her loving brother. And I was criticizing.
I told my fiancee about this realization that I had. To learn a lesson and admit before yourself and before someone else that you were wrong and you understand what you have done, is an important aspect of healing – and a way to streghten the relationship. After all, it’s a way of honor – to be honest, and to learn from your mistakes, so you can heal yourself, and in result, others as well.
A gift is sacred, any gift – to give means to offer yourself to others; it means that you truly care for others. When you charge money for something, it’s merely a transaction – when the money is exchanged for goods, the transaction is complete and there’s nothing else going on. But when you give something for free and you give honestly, then it means you care. It takes courage, good intentions and positive emotions to offer an honest gift.
But there is something else I have learned from the experience described above. Something might not prove valuable to you. But the very same thing might be very valuable to someone else. I don’t like Apple, nor its gadgets, but I can realize that to my fiancee, a gift from her brother is very valuable – in an emotional sense. I can understand this, because I too have things that are not expensive nor very modern, but they are valuable to me, as there is a lot of positive emotions and intentions associated with these things. Value is, therefore, something that is more associated with person’s emotions and intentions, than with the market price. It’s another aspect of a gift – a gift that is honest, even if the thing that is being given is cheap, the gift itself is as valuable as the emotions that are associated with it.
My fiancee is a woman that I am grateful for. She taught me so much, and she helped me face my inner self, and explore my inner self in such ways that proved beneficial for me, her and everything around us. Her presence is a true gift. Life offers us the best experiences to heal ourselves – we just need to observe our life and things that happen to us – once you have learned upon the experience, your individual healing progress further.
Every society is made of individuals – for this day, we all lived in an age of separation. Today, things change, and each day offers us new opportunities to grow and heal ourselves. We are individuals – but what we seek to achieve is to create a society of individuals, a society that is not simple a collection of beings, but a true community, in which people help each other, support each other and care for each other.
There is a long way to achieving this state of community, and a small step towards doing so is to learn about the importnce of gifts, gratitude and value. What we truly offer – as people, service providers and producers, has a value – what we offer others is a gift. Let us make sure that our gifts are honest, and shaped with great care. And when we recive gifts from others, let us be grateful for everything that made it possible for the gift to reach us. Behind everything you do, learn and use, there is a person – be grateful for all those who make your life possible.
To learn how to be grateful for things you already have and for everything you receive, because things are not there for granted; and to perceive the fact that value is perceived individually and some things can be very valuable to someone even if they do not appear this way to you; all of this is a small way to heal our civilization. One step at the time.
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What are the things you’re grateful for? Do you support local economy? And how often do you offer honest gifts?