Five Million views on TED.com video “Want to be happy? Be grateful” by Brother David Steindl-Rast, an 89 year-old Benedictine monk addresses the universal desire to be happy. He shows how we can choose to be grateful in the moment even when feeling challenged and rushed. He is widely embraced by a wide range of people around the world for is wisdom and hope for a more grateful world where people are more connected and appreciative.
In a recent interview with Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast, he shares a bit about his history and also goes deeper into his belief and personal process of being more grateful. When he eats a meal, he gives thanks for the thousands of people who grew the food, processed, delivered, sold, and prepared the meal. It acknowledges the connectedness we have with each other.
What to do
If we STOP in the face of anxiety, we have a chance LOOK at the situation and then GO to choose our response to a situation. Should we be thankful for the opportunity (to be alive, to have a job, to make a difference, to not be starving, for running water or electricity, for loved ones, for health, etc.) or are we being called to stand up for ourselves and others (a moment of decision or learning)? It can take only a moment, but it can provide a chance to live gratefully.
He quotes Maya Angelou: “This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen it before.” He recalls living where there was not electricity or running water. When he returned, he was so grateful for every light switch and running water. Soon it was easy to go back to taking if for granted. We need to remind ourselves to be grateful. We can’t be grateful for the bad things that happen in our life. We can still be grateful in each moment.
The payoff for being grateful in each moment is happiness.