- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
Are we counting our Blessings?
Counting our Blessings!
We are indifferent to our gifts from god!
Count your blessings, exhorts the scriptures. How many of us really count our blessings? We feel that we are entitled to these gifts from god and hence we dare not to count them. In a pure white cloth, even if there is a minute dark patch, we never notice the area of the white, but our mind concentrates only on the dark patch researching how it came about? Hence it is evident that we always count the handful of stones in a bag of rice and never worry about the rice. In a bag of rice, it is normal to find a handful of stones since they came from the fields and even with meticulous screening, some small stones get mixed in the rice mills etc. For instance there is a poor man who lacks food, clothing and shelter. But he is healthy, gets a good sleep and he had no health problem till date. But most of the time, his concern was to get a job so that he can fulfil his basic needs. He even failed to notice that he had a good physique and healthy! Readers may wonder how a poor man can be healthy but I have observed several platform dwellers who work on strenuous jobs to eke out a living. They are robust in health and get a good sleep wherever they lay their head. Even in the busiest rail junctions, I have seen porters taking rest under some shelter in the platforms during lean hours in spite of big rattling of the wheels of the trains that come and go. They may not be aware of the strange ‘insomnia’ which affects the middle class and the rich alike.
Now let us analyze our own lives. We have sufficient money to meet all our needs; we have a roof above and nice clothes to wear. We have families and children. But most of the time, the mind viciously compare one’s life style with that of neighbor. Oh! He has a big mansion with several cars at his disposal. He has servants for all jobs. But I have a small home and I have to earn for all my needs while my neighbor can sit and eat for generations! These kind of silly thoughts enter our mind since we never count our blessings. God has graciously provided you all the basic necessities of life sufficiently. But this comparison has led to our grief and troubles. Why bother about others? Whatever he has is what he has earned by his labor. If at all we compare, we should compare our lives with those people who are less fortunate than ours and not with those who are born with ‘silver spoons’! Here I remember a beautiful story told by a wise man. A man was walking along the road. Many two wheelers and four wheelers passed by him. He resented that he had no such luck to possess even a cycle until he saw a man moving slowly with the help of crutches since he had no legs. Then the man realized and thanked God that he had a pair of healthy legs by which he can walk many miles!
Again, if you ask the richest man rolling in luxuries, ‘whether he is happy with all these gifts from god, he will immediately pull out a long list of woes! Then we wonder, ‘how this man lacks peace when he has all the riches? His main worry is to safe guard his wealth and property from four people 1. His close relatives who are anxious to get their due shares from the property once the man passes away. 2. Thieves, who wait for an appropriate opportunity, to burgle into the mansion, and to loot whatever their hands put on. 3. The Income tax people are waiting like hawks to find out the source of your income and to levy huge taxes on your income. 4. Fire which can destroy everything in a moment to ashes! None can escape the above however mighty he may be.
Remember that we have the beautiful earth to live. God has provided ever flowing air to breathe in. He has provided clean water sources for drinking and other purposes. He gave us various seasons. He provides us periodical rains which sustain the earth and the living beings. There are river systems, lakes and oceans. He has provided the ecological system by which everything is maintained in perfect trim. He has provided green vegetables, fruits and many types of grains to sustain our health. Then there are cattle which provide us nourishing milk and we get all the dairy products out of the milk. Have we recognized all the gifts of God to all the beings on earth? No, we are mostly concerned with our petty woes. Look out and enjoy the beautiful nature around us. Who sustains it? But man has systematically polluted all the elements of creation for his own greed of possessing everything on earth. He needs only three servings of food and clothes to comfort us during rain and shine. Yet he wants to amaze billions as though the universe is going to end. If only everyone is content with the barest minimum needs, everyone on earth can live happily for ever since there is overconsumption and waste in some places and undernourishments in several places on earth. Man has forgotten the nobility of sharing his extra resources with the poor and downtrodden in society. Instead, he is breaking his head to acquire more and more! This is the tragedy man commits!