Gratitude has no Buts

“Gratitude is a rock upon which we set our anchor for stability and hope for a better future.”

It’s commonplace that we need to maintain a positive outlook on life and stay grateful. For everything that we are or have been able to accomplish in our lives, there’s a hand that’s been dealt to us often remembered is the positive alignment. This span parents who begot us, parents or guardians who provided for us in our childhood, teachers who taught us in varied schools if we were lucky enough to attend school. Beyond these, there are those with whom our paths have crossed through life and whether knowingly or unknowingly, have been able to guide our paths to the people we are. This is a gift that we need not take for granted. It’s not by our might that we’ve been able to accomplish what we’ve done but through the cosmic alignment of stars (people) in our lives who’ve contributed positively in our journeys. I remember writing about this earlier on “Self Made” when I came to the realization that as humans we are so inclined to taking credit with little regard for those who’ve helped us in our journeys. I’ll do better.

Additionally, I’ve written about my dislike for “buts” in an article about being sorry where the context was with my niece who lightens my days. I remember during my schooling days where our principal Mr. Omondi Wanga used to urge us to be of good behavior on which account his advise was always that however well you’d perform if you weren’t of good morals you’d be on a lost course. His analogy was on picking your results slips from the school and a final letter from the school where he’d always play the part on reading a slip: ” X X is a very brilliant young man with great promise “but”…” for which you’d know the conjunction but negates all the positives that precede it. That’s the connotation I have of but so when I hear or pick a “but” from a statement however positive it was I’m lost.

Drawing on these, I believe that gratitude is a virtue of rejoicing in what is thus should come with genuine heartfelt joy. When followed with a but it negates the joy and there’s nothing more to celebrate and this is the hurdle we face in our day to day interactions. I recently had a chat with a friend who landed a job from another company and following the transition, he was gracious enough to acknowledge that it was a great opportunity with a chance for growth while at the same time denigrating the new employer for not offering extra benefits he had wished for. This is where I felt lost considering the fact that this was a better opportunity compared to what he had before, it also offers extra room for professional growth which as a junior professional he needs. I acknowledge that not all our desires & wishes can be met but while this is the case we need to be grateful for what we have when we have it and rejoice in that. Negating our joy and the opportunity at hand not only manifests our sense of entitlement but also takes away the power from us to settle in, make the best of the opportunity and work towards our aspirations for they keep coming. Stay grateful not because you’ve achieved all that you wish for in life but because you’ve made progress and someone played a part in making that happen. Never forget that and your journey will be less stressful, more fulfilling & you’ll have control over your life.

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