A Note On Gratitude

I think it’s fair to say that as South Africans, we experienced one of the most sad and shocking few days last week.

For me, there were more questions than answers. In the midst of feeling angry, lost, worried and everything else in between, one thing I was conscious of is that I wanted to focus on the solutions rather than the problems.

I personally find answers in history, books and stories. Those who have come before us have let us little clues and those who seek, shall find.

A particularly good story is from the Fables of Aesop: The Dog and the Shadow.

“It happened that a Dog had got a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat in peace. Now on his way home he had to cross a plank lying across a running brook (stream).

As he crossed, he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath.

Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also.

So he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen more.”

The moral of the Fable is, “Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.” In other words, BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE.

In the past week, I have looked at a warm plate of food with a renewed sense of gratitude.

My only wish is that as we navigate the chaos of these times, and we consider the solutions for our situation, that we do it from a place of thanks and not anger.


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