If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance your life is relatively safe -- so safe that safety isn’t on your mind. So when nothing happens, you don’t feel particularly grateful. You expect to be safe, just as you expect the light to go on when you hit the switch on the wall. But when you expect to die or you expect your home to be destroyed, "nothing happened" is a miracle.
That's our challenge: to allow our hearts and minds to be touched by gratitude without the presence of a hurricane. To appreciate life and the grace by which we wake up each day and go to sleep in safety. To recognize that our personal safety is a gift and something we have little control over. We may survive a hurricane and have a heart attack the next day. Our lives are all hanging by a thread. It makes us nervous to think about it, so we try not to. But that thread has held us up since we were born. And once in a while it’s good to notice it so we can be thankful for it.
"Nothing happened" isn’t particularly exciting. It’s not as entertaining as a good movie. It’s not intellectually challenging, nor is it adorable like a baby kitten. But when you expect the worst and nothing happens, it’s worthy of celebration. A celebration of the fact that despite all of our problems and aches and pains and financial challenges and relationship conflicts we’re alive and we’re breathing and at the moment, we’re safe.
So take a moment and sit back. And breathe in "nothing happened." And breathe out a breath of thanks. Gratitude for just being able to breathe. Now that’s really something!
Gregg Krech is an author, poet, and one of the leading authorities on Japanese Psychology in North America. Excerpt above from Gratefulness blog.