Gratitude, or thankfulness have been concepts that I have worked hard over the past six months or so, to include in my life. October, 7th 2017, was the day of the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas shooting, mass shootings generally have the same effect on me that they haven’t everyone else. I feel outraged, extremely upset, and the sense of deep sadness for those affected. The Mandalay Bay shooting was different, I wasn’t just looking through names of people I had never met, but I was searching for names of my close family friends. I never read the names I so painfully looked for, because my loved ones, thankful survived that night. They were attending the concert and luckily made it to places of cover and left the venue with their lives. I have never understood what it was like to know someone who have been affected by mass shooting. And hearing that they were safe, was a moment of extreme gratitude and thankfulness. Ever since then, I have tried to be become more grateful for everything in my life, from my loved ones to sunsets and so on.

I think what is so crazy is that in our growth centric economy, we are told nonstop that the way to happiness is by having this or buying this. When in reality if you asked anyone a question of what they’re grateful for, almost no one, after consideration would say that they’re grateful for the things that they have. Grateful for there iPad, because it doesn’t really bring them happiness, what brings people happiness is beauty and being with loved ones and laughing, all these things that can never be purchased in the store and can never be created by capitalists. And yet we are baraded with the idea that products and things will bring us happiness. These items may facilitate happiness but they do not bring us happiness. And I think this goes back to the classic question, if your house was burning down and everyone was safe and you could only save one thing what would you save, people are almost always answer Family photos or something similar. Because he sings the candy purchase in the store are truly what really matter.

For my audio I chose the song Friends by Elton John for two different reasons, firstly because I think the lyrics fit the theme being grateful for loved ones, and also because I have memories attached to this song. At some point I was looking through old stuff at my grandparents house and found a record by Elton John with the song Friends on it, I fell in love with the song, and it ended up getting played constantly while I was with my friends, one summer. So hearing the song reminds me to be thankful for my friends and the good times we had and have together. The image I chose was a photo I love my friend and I on a camping trip, the summer that we found the song, and the photos from the trip just to remind me to be grateful for my friends and the people that I love and also the beauty that is nature.

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