The importance of being grateful

Yesterday, Lud and I watched Sometimes in April. The story takes place in Rwanda in the midst of the war between Tutsies and Hutus (well, I should technically call it genocide, not war). The movie reminded me of Hotel Rwanda and it is equally shocking and sad.

When the movie ended, both Lud and I were bawling. The reason why we felt so sad is because we can't understand why some people have to go through such hardship. The movie triggered a conversation about the genocide in Rwanda, Nazism, Haiti, Brazil and so on. I also felt guilty and I don't know why that happened. Maybe I felt guilty for not being grateful for the stuff I have. Maybe because I complain about things that are totally insignificant when compared to the situation the Rwandans, Haitians and Jews had to go through. All that got me thinking about gratitude. I sometimes forget all the great stuff that surrounds me: I am free to do whatever I want, I have a great family, a great wife, a great job, education, I live in a beautiful peaceful country, I come from an equally beautiful and peaceful country, I have friends, food, money... This list could go on and on. Yet, I sometimes focus on small things that should not matter.

When I woke up this morning, I decided to frame my day around gratitude. I acknowledged and felt grateful for every single thing that happened to me during the day. I then noticed how wonderful my life is and the importance of being grateful.

It also got me thinking about how little I give back. While entire countries (including my own) need help, I sit comfortably at my house, write blog posts on my Mac while watching HD TV shows. I am often too busy to help others. Thank God we have amazing people like my friend Gabriela in this world. These people are never too busy or tired to help those who need it. They change the world slowly while most of us are too busy watching Dancing with the Stars.

 

Children of Rwanda