Gratitude Despite the Circumstance
Can I Be Grateful In War?
Tonight I watched Oprah's Lifeclass where Oprah, Tony Robbins, Iyanla, Deepak, TD Jakes taught us to master the art of gratitude. The class was very insightful as usual and there were several "light bulb moments". I especially liked Tony Robbins' activity to open up our hearts to remember events in our lives to be grateful about. This exercise was very effective.
After the class, I reflected on gratitude and while I am blessed and I do have many reasons to be grateful, I started thinking about people who live in war torn areas of the world; places in Africa like, Rwanda, Somalia, Congo and Sudan; Afghanistan; Syria; Kosovo-Serbia. For a moment I tried to channel their pain and angst. I would like to ask each of Oprah's Life Master: how people facing the devastating realities of war can be grateful? Here are some of the questions that those feeling the effects of war and chaos might ask:
How do I stay in a state of thankfulness when everything is in turmoil and chaos?
How do I remain grateful when those responsible for my pain go unpunished?
How do I counteract the thieves of peace and security to obviate the desire in my pain to wallow?
How can I be grateful when all I feel is self pity and hate’s downward spiralling and churning?
How can I be grateful when all I feel is anger and pain?
How can I be grateful when my heart was trampled on, is bruised and bleeding?
How can I feel grateful when there is no money in my pocket; no food in my stomach; a stone for my pillow?
How can I be grateful when endless wars rage around me?
How can I be grateful when children die from scarcity, diseases and militarization?
When women and children are raped and tortured and men are maimed for life?
How I can be grateful when all I see is death and pain and hate?
How can I be grateful when it appears that God forgets me; forgets my people?
Does God care that we are in so much pain and angst?
How can I be grateful when bombs and grenades explode all around?
When the guns are at my head and at my back, how can I be thankful?
How can I be grateful when all I see are broken spirits and broken bodies?
How can I be grateful when the enemies and the villains are the winners?
How can I be grateful when my parents and siblings are killed right in front of me?
How can I be grateful when I've lost my limbs; now a burden to others?
How can I be grateful when pain and suffering is ubiquitous?
How can I be grateful in this god-forsaken place; a constant reminder of my exile?
How can I be grateful when I do not know if this is the last breath I will take?
How can I be grateful when there is so much hatred?
As I lay here in my urine and blood, my gut wide open from the land mine that blew up my crew
How can I be grateful that my colleagues are all dead?
Do I have the proclivity to see the glass half empty? Is there a reason for optimism?