Thursday, January 31, 2008

Day 8: 29 Days of Gratitude

Ralph Waldo Emerson writes:

"We have a great deal more kindness than is ever spoken. The whole human family is bathed with an element of love like a fine ether. How many persons we meet in houses, whom we scarcely speak to, whom yet we honor and who honor us! How many we see in the street, or sit with in church, whom though silently, we warmly rejoice to be with! Read the language of these wandering eye-beams. The heart knoweth."

Today's practice centers around developing a greater gratitude for that "whole human family" of which Emerson speaks. The challenge for today is to honor someone "we scarcely speak to." It may be someone we "see in the street" or someone we pass in the hallway at work. It may be someone we pass in the store.

Practice: Speak to someone you do not know. See if you can imagine this person "bathed with an element of love like a fine ether." Be grateful for this.

How did it go? Share below.


Tom Krieshok said...

I have been going round and round with UPS on a package that did not get delivered awhile back. Today I went into the UPS store and met face to face with the guy on the other end of the phone who I have always believed was genuinely trying to get it sorted out. I was unusually courteous, reminding myself he is just a guy trying to do his job, just like me. Maybe it will work out, maybe not, but I left UPS with a lighter heart, trusting. Grateful I was able to see in him a trustworthy human.

RevThom said...

Thank for leaving a comment Tom.

My experience from yesterday was one that I didn't connect with gratitude until sometime later. It is because the context of it just makes me angry and aggravated.

Right outside my condo there is an intersection that has lots and lots of car accidents. Many of them are head on and often ambulances arrive at the scene. In the two and a half years that I've lived here I have witnessed at least a dozen accidents at this intersection. Or at least I've heard the screech of tires and the crash of cars. I've talked with many police officers telling them they need to do something about this intersection before someone dies. The officers have told me that the city won't bother to change the intersection until there is a death. (This aggravates me to no end.) I've called the city and even the Fox 4 Problem Solvers about this...

Well, anyways, on Friday just as I was walking out my front door: screech... crash! Luckily a very minor accident. But I called 911 and waited with the drivers until the police showed up to sort it out.

I think the drivers found some relief in knowing that this intersection is just a trap for these kind of accidents and that there were dozens of other people who had smashed up their cars in the very same spot.

As far as gratitude, I'm not sure how that fits in, but I am grateful no one was injured.