Driving around recently I saw a bumper sticker on a car and the word “gratitude” caught my eye. it seems to me that one doesn’t see that word on many bumper stickers. It was a small square bumper sticker with small print, and the road grime that covered it made it even more difficult to read. Luckily, we both caught a light, and so I had a chance to read the full message:
“Gratitude for all there is, and for all there isn’t.”
I am still pondering those ten words days later.
“Gratitude for all there is” — It occurs to me that gratitude for what there is is challenge enough. It is easy to take things, blessings if you will, for granted, and in my experience, though it seems counterintuitive, the more things and blessings I have, the more difficult it becomes to be grateful for them. That is, the easier it is to take them for granted.
“Gratitude for all there isn’t.” – Well, this is an even greater challenge, to be grateful for what we don’t have. Of course there are things we don’t have and don’t want, some problem, trouble or disease for instance. You’d think it would be easy to be grateful for their absence, though of course there is that schadenfreude thing to contend with. But even more challenging is to be grateful for things we want but don’t have, or that we want more of.
No answers here, but still savoring the thought:
“Gratitude for all there is and for all there isn’t.”