“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~Cynthia Ozick

How often do you stop and take the time to appreciate what you have in life?

When I was younger, I took a lot of things for granted. I believe many other children did so, as well.  After all, we were kids and we didn’t know what life could be like on the other side … *ominous music* … in Adulthood!

One of the biggest things we took for granted was our education.  In the United States, it’s mandatory for all kids to go to school (through graduation), so it was a given that Monday thru Friday, from age 5 to 17-18, you were at school. We never thought about how lucky we were to be receiving an education.  Something that in other parts of the world, is nonexistent.

We also took those who were teaching us for granted. We never thought about how lucky we were to have teachers who cared for us so much, and poured their heart and soul into their lesson plans and sometimes even their own money into our supplies.

Progressively as I grew up (a very slow process), I began to appreciate more and more of the things around me. As I noticed more and more of the world out there, I realized all the things I’d been gifted were not rights, but great privileges.

I realized that being able to read is a not a right, but a gift I was given. I realized there is a lot of war and violence in the world, and I’m lucky to live in a country where it’s safe and peaceful (nowadays I question this daily).  I realized there are people out there who don’t have their five senses, and the mere fact that I have all 5 of mine is a gift.

After being gifted with traveling to a vast majority of the world, I realize the world is so beautiful, and we’re lucky to live on such an amazing planet … that is, if we stop slowly, progressively killing it.

Sometimes it’s easy to feel bad because you’re going through a tough time in life. However, remember that no matter how bad your situation may seem, there are tens of thousands of things to be grateful for in life, and millions of others who are experiencing something just as bad, often times worse.

Below is a simple list of things that I’m grateful for in my life. Most of the items, if not all, I am guessing will apply to you too. I’m sure as you read this list, you’ll think of many more things to be grateful for.   Feel free to add on in the comments box below.  I would love to read your additions to the list.

Here are 60 things to be grateful for in life:

1. Your parents – for giving birth to you. Because if there was NO them, there would be NO you.
2. Your family – for being your closest kin in the world. (Sometimes ‘friends’ ARE family.)
3. Your friends – for being your supportive companions in this life.
4. Sense of sight – for letting you see the colors of life.
5. Sense of hearing – for letting you hear the sound of rain, the voices of your loved ones, and the awesome complexity of music.
6. Sense of touch – for letting you feel the textures of life, the breeze of the wind and the hands of your loved ones.
7. Sense of smell – for letting you smell the aroma of foods, perfumes, and beautiful flowers.
8. Sense of taste – for letting you savor the sweetness of fruits, the saltiness of seawater, the sourness of dill pickles, the bitterness of coffee, and the spiciness of cayenne pepper.
9. Your speech – for giving you the outlet to express yourself.  The gift I abuse daily.
10. Your heart – for pumping blood to all the parts of your body every second of every day, since you were born; and psychologically … for giving you the ability to “feel”.
11. Your lungs – for letting you breathe so you can live.
12. Your immune system – for fighting viruses that enter your body. For keeping you in the best of health so you can do the things you love to experience.
13. Your hands – so you can type on your computer, flip the pages of books, and hold the hands of your loved ones.
14. Your legs – for letting you walk, run, swim, play the sports you love, and curl up in the comfort of your seat.
15. Your mind – for the ability to think, to store memories, and to create new solutions; to think critically and handle emergent situations.
16. Your good health – for enabling you to do what you want to do and for what you’re planning to do in your future.
17. Your school (for the younger crowd) – for providing an environment conducive to learning and growing.
18. Your teachers (Again, for the younger crowd) – for their dedication and for passing down knowledge to you.
19. Tears – for helping you express your deepest emotions.
20. Disappointment – so you know the things that matter to you most.
21. Fears – so you know your opportunities for growth.
22. Pain – for you to become a stronger person.
23. Sadness – for you to appreciate the spectrum of human emotions.
24. Happiness – for you to soak in the beauty of life.
25. The Sun – for bringing in light, life and beauty to this world.
26. Sunset – for a beautiful sight to end each day.
27. Moon and Stars – for brightening up our night sky, and sharing the wonders of space with us.
28. Sunrise – for a beautiful sight to start each morning.
29. Rain – for cooling you when it gets too warm and for making it comfy to sleep in on weekends; for giving life to all things alive and growing.
30. Snow – for making winter even more beautiful; again for helping to give life to all things alive and growing.
31. Rainbows – for a beautiful sight to look forward to after rain.
32. Oxygen – for making life possible.
33. The earth – for creating the environment for life to begin.
34. Mother nature – for covering our world in beauty.
35. Animals – for adding to the diversity of life.
36. Internet – for connecting you and others despite the physical space between you.
37. Transportation – for making it easier to get from one place to another quickly and safely.
38. Mobile phones – for making it easy to stay in touch with others.
39. Computers – for making our lives more effective and efficient.
40. Technology – for making impossible things possible.
41. Movies – for providing a source of entertainment.
42. Books – for adding wisdom into your life.
43. Blogs – for connecting you with other like-minded people.
44. Shoes – for protecting your feet when you are out.
45. Time – for a system to organize yourself and keep track of activities.
46. Your job – for giving you a source of living and for being a medium where you can add value to the world; the ability to use your talents.
47. Music – for lifting your spirits when you’re down and for filling your life with more love.
48. Your bed – for you to sleep comfortably in every night.
49. Your home – for a place you can call home.
50. Your soul mate – for being the one who understands everything you’re going through.
51. Your best friends – for being there for you whenever you need them.
52. Your enemies – for helping you uncover your blind spots so you can become a better person.
53. Kind strangers – for brightening up your days when you least expect it.
54. Your mistakes – for helping you to improve and become better.
55. Heartbreaks – for helping you mature and become a better person.
56. Laughter – for serenading your life with joy.
57. Love – for letting you feel what it means to truly be alive.
58. Life’s challenges – for helping you grow and become who you are.
59. Life – for giving you the chance to experience all that you’re experiencing, and will be experiencing in time to come.

And last but not least… #60:

You – For being who you are and touching the world with your amazing life-force.