Today’s world makes it all too easy for many of us to find ourselves in a dark place. The simple act of turning on the evening newscast can routinely deliver war, poverty and economic strife right into your living room. And for many, this unfortunately defines their expectations of our world.
That is except for my friend – the one who approached me at a local coffee shop the other day.
His eyes are always smiling, his clothes neatly pressed, and he makes it his business to leave a little bit of sunshine everywhere he goes.
“Hello there!” he says from across the room as he crosses my way.
If you’ve ever known someone who could ‘will’ the world into a better place, it’s my friend.
We spoke for a few minutes before he brought up a story about someone we both know whom he’d spoken to recently.
“Yes, she was a bit down – not sure why,” he said, adding a pause.
“That is,” he continued, “until I invited her to play the ‘blessing game’ with me.”
“The what?” I asked?
“The blessing game,” he said, “where you take a few moments to reflect on the blessings you have in life. You’d be surprised what a difference it can make in your day.”
He began by telling me about how he invited her to play along – my friend asking questions to lead their conversation.
“Well, to start with, we’re blessed to live in the United States, wouldn’t you agree? Where else in the world is there so much freedom and opportunity?”
“How about your health? You’re healthy, aren’t you?”
“How about your family?”
“How about that you’ve a job in today’s world?”
As he continued I began to see his reasoning – the brilliant simplicity of his words. Practically everyone we know can play this game and finish feeling better about themselves. Each of us, although our lives are unique, are blessed in both quantities and qualities we, too, many times overlook. Most people are rich beyond their dreams – particularly if we leave the dollars and cents out of the equation.
You don’t need to be a believer in God to appreciate the blessings in life most people take for granted. While most of us understand and give thanks to our creator, even an atheist would be hard-pressed to deny the comparatively blessed world in which they exist.
For the most part, those reading this column live in a world where job one for the day is not about worrying where to get food for the next meal. Nor is it a struggle to keep a literal roof over their heads. And for the most part, their future can be altered for the better with hard work, effort and determination. And for those not so fortunate, there are many who want desperately to help through donations, offering hot meals, or just being there for them.
After my friend finished his story I found myself mulling over his powerful self-revealed lesson at the end. And much like those he teaches “the blessing game,” I, too, felt better about myself.
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