Be grateful for what we have

Better a little fire to warm us than a great one to burn us. Thomas Fuller

A common fault that almost all of us are guilty of is succumbing to the temptation of comparisons.  Clothes, houses, cars, earnings, holidays taken and every imaginable comparative item are consciously or unconsciously subject to comparison. The tendency to compare different items with different people leads us to a conclusion that others have much more than what we have. Unfortunately, this is a skewed comparison because intangibles cannot be subject to easy comparison. Feelings, reactions, attitude are something’s that cannot be compared and as a result our conclusions are often erroneous.

On the other hand if one were to take an inventory of all our possessions and compare that with what we really deserve we would in all probability realize how rich we are. One would also notice that some of our heirlooms have love written all over it whereas most of the modern possessions have the price tag as the indicative value and scrap value as realistic value associated with it. The first watch gifted by a parent, the first bicycle on which we learned the basics of cycling, the hand me down sweater which great grandfather possibly acquired during his stint abroad all have a lot of memories and feelings that associated with it. Ironically the ipod we got a few months ago has already become outdated and there could be a drawer full of mobile phones and accessories all of which are near scrap.

It is said that a man with one watch is better off than the one with two watches simply because the latter is never sure of the time. Similarly if one were to acquire sudden riches one may never be really prepared to handle the resultant euphoria.  A look at the lives of the rich and famous, reveal the crisis that most of them undergo in their personal lives, despite their monetary riches.  Money and power are a potent mix that can give us heady feelings of infallibility and invincibility. A study of the great dictators and despots who have become part of historical folklore would prove the point too. Money gives one a false sense of power and unbridled power gives one a sense of invincibility. The true antidote for money and power is humility.

What we really need to do is value all what we have. This can begin with the reality that we are alive and that  we are blessed with reasonable health, wealth and intelligence. If we look around we would notice the millions who don’t even have these bare minimum advantages. If there are things we crave and envy in others  it would be prudent to step back and take an inventory of all what we really posses. A happy family, a stable business or job, lots of friends are some blessings we take for granted but which many a rich person actually craves for. See things in perspective; if we were gifted a Mercedes would be able to maintain it? If we won a Gold Plated iphone how often would we be worried about losing it? Do you really hoard your priceless possessions like a Waterman Pen or a Diamond Pendent for fear of losing it?  Be happy that whatever possessions you have are really enjoyed by you and not kept for the snob value which is just a temporary high but a realistic problem.

Remember: “There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess men.” Billy Graham

Try this:

  1. To understand how people can remain humble read up on the life and style of icons like Mr.Warren Buffet, Mr.Naryana Murthy & Mrs.Sudha Murthy, Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam. Here is a little ppt on Mr.Warren Buffet that makes for interesting insight. Warren_Buffet
  2. List out 3 things that you really crave for. Now outline 3 practical problems for each of the  items on your list, that you would have to face  if you really got your wish fulfilled.

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