"One trait that unites all people is that each of us wants to be happy," says brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he believes, is born out of gratitude. Inspiring lesson about life the tranquility, the view on your way and, above all, about how to be grateful.
There is something that you know about me, something very personal, and there's something I know about each of you, something very important to you. There are some things that we know about everyone we meet anywhere in the world, on the street, which is the main driving force behind any of their actions, and all that they undergo. And that's what we all want to be happy. In this we are all one. How we imagine our happiness, that differs from one other, but it's already a lot that we have in common — we want to be happy.
Now my topic is gratefulness. What is the connection between happiness and gratefulness? Some people will say: "It's very simple. When you're happy, you're grateful." But think again. Is it really the happy people that are grateful? We all know enough people that have all you need for happiness, but they are not happy because they need something or they want more than what you have.
And we all know people who have lots of misfortune, misfortune that we ourselves would not want to face, but they are very happy. They radiate happiness. You're surprised. Why? Because they are grateful. So it's not happiness that makes us grateful. It's gratefulness that makes us happy. If you think that happiness makes you grateful, think again. It's gratefulness that makes you happy.
You can now ask, what do we mean by gratefulness? How it works? I appeal to your own experience. We all know from experience how this happens. We experience something that is valuable to us. We are given something that valuable to us. And it's really given. These two things should be together. It must be something of value, and be a real gift.
You haven't bought it. You haven't earned it. You haven't traded it. You haven't worked for it. It's just given to you. And when these two things happen together — something really valuable to me, and I realize that it is a gift, then in my heart, gratitude arises spontaneously, and in my heart, happiness spontaneously arises. That way there thanks.
The key to all this is that we can't experience this from time to time. We can only have gratitude. We can be people who live gratefully. Grateful life is what we need. How can we live gratefully? Feeling, knowing that every moment is a given moment, as we speak.It's a gift. You haven't earned it.
You were not the reason for this. You can not be sure that will be another moment given to you, and yet is the most precious that can be given to us, this moment, with all the potential it has. If we didn't have this present moment, we would not be able to do anything or experience, and this moment is a gift. It's a given moment, as we speak.
We can say that the gift within this gift is really the opportunity. What are you truly thankful is the opportunity, not the thing you get, because if this thing was anywhere else and you would not have the opportunity to enjoy it, to do something with her, you would not be grateful for that. Opportunity is the gift within every gift, and there is a saying: "opportunity knocks only once".
Well, think again. Every moment is a new gift, over and over again, and if you miss the opportunity of this moment, we are given another moment, and another. We can take this opportunity or we could lose her. And if we seize the opportunity, it will be the key to happiness. Note that the key to our happiness in our own hands. Moment by moment. We can be grateful for that gift.
Does this mean that we can be grateful for everything? Of course not. We cannot be grateful for violence, for war, for oppression, for exploitation. On a personal level we cannot be grateful for the loss of a friend, for unfaithfulness, for bereavement. But I did not say that we can be grateful for everything. I said we can be grateful in every given moment for the opportunity.
And even when we are faced with something terribly difficult, we can influence it and to respond to the opportunity that is given to us. It's not as bad as it may seem. In fact, if you look at it and experience it, you will realize that most often, what we have been given is the opportunity to enjoy, and we miss it only because we are rushing through life and we never stop to see the opportunity.
But from time to time, we are given something very heavy, and when it happens to us, it is a challenge to cope with this possibility. We can deal with it, learning something that is sometimes painful. To learn patience, for example. We were told that the road to peace is not a sprint, it's more like a marathon. It requires patience. It is difficult. This can be protecting their opinions, defending their beliefs.
This is an opportunity that is given to us. To learn, to suffer, to defend all these opportunities given to us, but it is only possible. And those who take advantage of these opportunities, are the people we admire. They succeed in life. And those who fail get another opportunity. We always get another opportunity. This is the wonderful richness of life.
So how do we find a way to use it? How each of us can find a way to live gratefully and not just from time to time, but in every moment? How can we do it? There is a very easy way. It's so simple that in fact we about atomobile in childhood, when we learned to cross the street. Stop. Look. Go. That's all. But how often do we stop? We are rushing through life. We don't stop. We miss the opportunity because we're not stopping. We have to stop. We need to calm down. And we have to build stop signs into our lives.
Some years ago, when I was in Africa and then came back, I noticed the water. In Africa where I was, there was no drinking water. Every time I turned on the faucet, I was amazed. Every time I turned on the light, I was so grateful. It made me so happy. But after some time it passed. So I put little stickers on the light switch and water faucet, and every time I turned it on, water!
So leave it up to your imagination. You can find what works best for you, but you need stop signs in your life. And when you stop, the next thing to do is look. View. Open your eyes. Open your ears. Open your nose. Open all your senses for this wonderful richness that is given to us. There is no end. This is life — enjoy life, enjoy what is given to us.
And then we can also open our hearts, our hearts to opportunities, opportunities to help others, to make others happy, because nothing makes us happier than when we are all happy. And when we open our hearts to the opportunities, the opportunities invite us to do something, and this is the third step. Stop, look and then go, and really do something. We can do what life offers us at the moment. This is usually a opportunity to enjoy, but sometimes it's more complicated than that.
But whatever it is, if we use this opportunity, we will continue to follow it, we are creative, these creative people, and this is a short "stop, look, go" are so powerful source that it can completely change our lives. As we need it, at the moment we are in the middle of the process of change of consciousness, and you will be surprised if you I'm always surprised to hear how often mentions of the word "gratitude" and "appreciation".
You can find them anywhere, a grateful airline, a restaurant gratefulness, a cafe gratefulness, a wine that is gratefulness. Yes, I even came across a toilet paper that was called "Thank you." (Laughter) a Wave of gratefulness because people are becoming aware how important this is, and how it can change our world.
It can change our world in immensely important ways, because if you are grateful, you scared, but if you're not fearful, you're not violent. If you're grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not out of a sense of scarcity and you're ready to share.If you are grateful, you are enjoying the differences between people and you're respectful to everyone.That changes this power pyramid under which we live.
This does not lead to equality, but leads to respect, and that is important. The future of the world is a network, not a pyramid, not a pyramid turned upside down. The revolution of which I speak is not a violent revolution, and it is so revolutionary that it is even fundamentally izmenitsa the concept of revolution, because in the usual revolution of the pyramid of power turned upside down, and those who were on the bottom are now on top, and doing the same things that were done before others. We need a networking of smaller groups and smaller, even smaller groups who know each other, which interact with each other, and that is a grateful world.
A grateful world is a world of happy people. Grateful people are happy people, and happy people, the more and more happy people, the more joyful our world.We have a network for grateful living, and it has mushroomed. We couldn't understand why it mushroomed. We gave people the opportunity to light a candle when they are grateful for something.
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And 15 million were lit candles in a decade. People are becoming aware that a grateful world is a happy world and we all have the ability, just stopped, looked and started to go further, to change the world, make it a happy place. And that's what I'd like for us to see it at least a bit contributed to the fact that you wanted to do the same, stop, look, go.