Guru Nanak on gratitude
December 30, 20196 Minutes

Let’s do a quick recap of the things we do in a day. We wake up from our comfortable bed, take a relaxing shower, eat breakfast, pack our lunch, meet our colleagues, spend the day working, meet some friends in the evening, and finally return to our place to have dinner and get back to our cozy bed. We have food, water, shelter, and friends with us. In case we fall ill or need someone, we know we have the support of the people around us.

A wonderful gift by the Supreme God. How many times do we thank the Supreme God for blessing us with this life? How many times do we sit back and appreciate the little things we have in our life?

Guru Nanak taught us to be thankful for what we have. He emphasized gratitude for everything that we are blessed with. He also taught us to appreciate the efforts of others in our lives. Be it the helper who takes out the garbage or your boss who mentors you, we should value others and be thankful to everyone. When we’re grateful, we cultivate an aura of gratitude around us. It radiates through our words and actions. And when we speak with gratitude in our hearts, it reciprocates. If we choose the opposite path, we become unappreciative. Ego overpowers us. Our attitude towards everything becomes careless. We start to take everything for granted. And when we are thankless, we receive the same from others. After all, we reap what we sow.

Practicing gratitude cultivates humility in us. When we start to value what we have, we become humble, knowing that it’s a blessing from the Supreme God. We don’t compare what we have with others. And we also realize that others may not be as fortunate as we are. This realization makes us more thankful and, in turn, more humble.

We can practice gratitude and humility in our daily lives through simple, thoughtful actions. Here a few ways:

Be thankful for the food: Share your food with the needy. Do not waste the surplus on your plate. Order only as much as you can eat.

Be thankful for the water: Do not waste water. Turn off the tap when not in use. Use water judiciously. Instead of a shower, use a bucket.

Be thankful for the house: Be congenial with everyone who visits your house. Invite your colleague who is new to the city and make them feel at home. Put a shed in your balcony to provide shade to the birds during summer.

Be thankful for the people: The best way to show your gratitude to people in your life is to give them your time and attention. Ask them how they are doing, what have they been up to, meet with them, and listen with the intent of understanding. Small actions like these have a significant impact on the relations you have.

Be thankful for the work: Practice an honest attitude towards your work. Abandon the vice of procrastination. Put your soul into your work, and you’ll see the results will be favorable.

Be thankful for the environment: Nature has given us so much selflessly. We can be grateful to her by caring for her. Plant a sapling and nurture it. Build a house for the flock of sparrows who visit your balcony. Adopt a stray animal and care for it.

Be thankful for the life: Lastly, thank the Supreme God for blessing you with this life. Please go out and help someone make their life better. The lessons you have learned can guide someone else.

Let’s begin the coming year by following Guru Nanak’s teachings. Let us fill our hearts with gratitude and speak with humility to lead a happier, more fulfilling life.