Four Simple Steps to Express Gratitude

We often take for granted that the things we need to complete a simple, everyday task will be there when we want them. It doesn’t take long to create a long list of the luxuries we have at our fingertips:

  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Running water
  • Heat
  • Chilled food

As an exercise in awareness and gratitude, it’s useful for us to recognize that we are actually quite dependent on a wide variety of people to make sure things like these are available to us. This short article intends to offer the reader encouragement to not take these people for granted.

Doing so involves four steps:

  1. Begin by thinking about an activity or chore you do on a daily basis, be it brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, making your bed, or anything that you know you sometimes do without really thinking about it.
  2. Next, allow your imagination to marvel at everything that must come together to allow you to complete this action. (For instance, in order to brush your teeth you need people to make toothbrushes and toothpaste. You need people to transport these products to stores where other people put the products on shelves, thus making it easy for you to find them. The list can go on and on, and that’s not even mentioning the people involved in getting water to your bathroom sink, assuming that is where you brush your teeth.)
  3. Having done that, bring to mind someone who has done some kind of work that makes your chosen action easier for you, even if you have to use your imagination.
  4. Lastly, find a personally relevant and meaningful way to appreciate one of the people who makes it easier for you to complete this daily task.

Slowing down to mindfully acknowledge and recognize our interconnectedness is a great way to understand that we aren’t isolated, that we are all playing on the same team.

Published by Andy Smallman

I work to promote ordinary activities that awaken kindness, cheerfulness, thoughtfulness & awe, helping people connect to their true nature and increase peace in the world.