A Life Full of Gratitude

Essay by <Name Withheld>
Photo by Author. Over the Pacific, 2019

I believe in a life full of gratitude. A life with the upmost appreciation for everything we have in this world.

The lives we live are undoubtedly full of ups and downs but gratitude will ground you even in the worst of times and the best of times. It keeps you always looking forward with your chin held high pushing for every opportunity that is available. When you look at several statistics, life is an absolute blessing that we take for granted every day. We need gratitude to give us the insight on the luck we have had so far, which is simply being alive.

It has been said that the odds of being born are four hundred trillion to one. How can you go through life not appreciating every encounter, every opportunity, and every action as an absolute blessing with the knowledge of that statistic? I believe life is what you make of it, but with gratitude you can appreciate more and have a more fulfilling life with endless opportunities.

Throughout my life I have been lucky enough to spend much to all of my time in a first-world country. I have never worried about what my shelter might look like or my food situation might be for that particular day. However, in 2019 when I visited my grandfather in Xiamen, China, we visited the countryside. There I saw the harsh difference in livelihoods. In parts of China, people live a much more rigorous life full of uncertainty that I had not seen to such a extent before.

As I returned to the United States, I reflected on variety of lifestyles all around the world including within China’s main cities, the countryside, as well as all over the United States. Life is all about the way you approach and analyze it. In simpler terms it is all about perspective. Without another point of reference you have nothing to compare what is in front of you.

In the skies above the Pacific Ocean I realized how much perspective plays a role in the way we approach our own life. I thought back to the statistic of 400 trillion to one and how I have no idea what I could have become instead of a human or even simply not exist at all. There are millions of outcomes that could have occurred but instead I and everyone around us has been blessed with life. What more can we do other than reflect upon that given information and move forward with the most ambitious, bold, and high striving goals? Many people including myself believe that we only have one life, so why would you not optimize it to the fullest capacity, knowing the odds of even being placed in the position you have right now.

All you need to do is think to yourself that you could either not exist entirely or you could have been a blade of grass instead of a human being. That is why I believe in a life full of gratitude.