Gratitude is often overlooked in our society. Capitalism has drowned out the importance of reflecting upon the numerous events which make us happy and grateful in any given situation.
Our economy evolves around the competitive buying and selling of products with the goal of making the most money. This is materialism on a grand scale. Ads continually push ideologies down our throats, pointing towards material wealth as the leading factor that increases happiness and improves our lives. The goal is to make us unhappy by imposing the feeling of lacking something necessary. Yet, with material gain, our happiness has been decreasing, with stress and depression on the rise.
Gratitude allows us to realize that it is not the many things strewn throughout our homes that make us happy, but rather the memories we make with each other, along with the natural world that makes it all possible. By realizing what people, and what aspects of the environment, contribute to making an event happen, our motivation and determination to give back and sustain such things for the future, increases. These days, its only when an event is really immense that it grabs our attention long enough for us to truly take time to appreciate its impact, as well as how it came to be. However, gratitude is a crucial piece of what ties each individual together and to the natural world, the reason for life itself. Being thankful sheds light on what aspects of our life and our community really improve our satisfaction, providing clarity as to what we must maintain and what we can let go. Gratitude does not have to be big, in fact, the more you practice being appreciative, the more you realize how many small things occur throughout a single day that are truly worthy of being thankful for. In turn, gratitude will help you see the good in the worst of times.
While practicing gratitude myself, I find it hard to muster up a good memory in the last day or so. Usually I easily find happiness in rowing practice each day, but since my team has hit rough waters, I struggle to focus my attention on what’s truly important. It is not all the negative, but all the positive connections to my teammates and family members who each work tirelessly to support one another. It is also the lakes, trees, and sun, providing a wonderful place to make memories with these people.
For these reasons, it is crucial for all of us to practice gratitude and remember, it is not competitive business and material wealth we should be investing in, but instead, it is necessary to invest in social connections and the environment. Both of which will pay you back ten times more than our capitalist society ever did.
For my audio, I have chosen a clip of the chorus of frogs beside the path to the boat house. Their sound marks the beginning of warmer weather, and remind me to take a minute to listen, and reminisce about the good times.