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Muchisima Gracias Con Un Beso Y Un Abrazo

When we were kids Thank You we were just getting introduced to what Thank You  may mean..

  • Our parents reminded us when we were 5 to say Thank You when our grandparents gave us that ridiculously random gift … like a painted coke bottle. (YES… this was me … my grandmother painted birds and flowers on EVERYTHING in her house!)
  • Our teachers taught us to say Thank You to our classmates when they lent us a pencil because for the 10th time in 2 weeks because you left yours at home.
  • Our babysitters taught us to say Thank You when they let us stay up 30 minutes past our bed time so we could finish that movie.

And then somewhere along the way we don’t need to be taught by someone. But rather, the world teaches us to be thankful for what we Have, rather than for just what people Give us.

  • We travel abroad and visit villages where children have no shoes, no food, no water.
  • We watch 75- year-old husbands and wives make their way through moving subway cars singing as they ask for change.
  • We witness children wearing rags sitting  in the middle of a crowded street market playing an instrument as their dad collects change.
  • We see that someone’s apartment down the street is the bed they set up in store’s opening corridor after close and before open.
  • We drive around otherwise nice town and see people with signs that read, “Laid Off. Will Work for Food.”

And somewhere along the way we start to realize what we have after we experience what others don’t have.

  • The opportunities we’ve had to travel or work or live a life of leisure. If you’re reading this right now you’re fortunate enough to have access to a computer and the internet. There are billions in this world who don’t.
  • The friends whom love us to death despite our faults. Whom we’ve sat around on a couch with doing absolutely nothing but talking and laughing and reminiscing.
  • Our families, which sure they may be crazy, but who would we be without them?
  • The people we’ve met whom support us, inspire us, and drive us to be better individuals and human beings.

And this list will go on forever.

So the question is, now that we’ve learned to be thankful and we’ve been humbled and we’ve seen the things that we have seen and have had the experiences we’ve lived that so many can’t have, how will you show your thanks for these things? And how will you inspire others to learn the power of gratitude? How will you make a difference in the lives of those whom have not received as much as you? How will you show others the contagious power of Gratitude for what you Give so that they can Have? How you will help people help themselves.

It doesn’t take much either. It just takes kindness, respect, and of course, gratitude.

And lastly, Thank You.

Thank you to everyone for being true who they are, for doing great work, for taking risks, and for making this world a more interesting, better, surprising, and positive place.

Thankful for this Sweet Image Credit

About Lauren Rains

Hi my name is Lauren Rains. I write about the human experience. Through thick and thin, I’m dedicated to growth, adventure, integrity, and love. The Mad To Live is based on my pursuits, experiments, research, and lessons of challenge and triumph in all areas of life, including being entrepreneur, a writer, a philosopher, a traveler, a teacher, a student, a creative, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a significant other, a stranger and the list goes on. At the end of the day, I believe human beings are here for two reasons: 1.) to love one another with total acceptance, and 2.) to see what we’re made of as we create the possibilities for an abundant life for ourselves and for others. No more bullshit, let's just enjoy our lives.

Share with me what you're getting into that matters to you. It could be stepping into entrepreneurial pursuits, embarking on a journey of the self, making a crazy life change, or even if you're totally stuck. I want to connect with, support, collaborate with, and learn from as many people as possible through this blog (that means you!) Click the *Share* link in the main menu and let's connect by filling out the form.

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  • carole

    thank you for appreciating family. i am thankful you are in my life too.

    • When all is said and done, your fam is still your fam! 🙂

  • MaRk BoNsIGnOrE

    I think in the “becoming a grandparent manual” it has a list of acceptable items you can paint over and give as gifts because i’m pretty sure I have an old glass case of tomato sauce that has flowers and a picture of me on it somewhere in my house…and I know I didn ‘t make that ha

    I think I have a lot to be thankful for but most importantly I have been so blessed throughout my life with the people I have been surrounded by and the opportunities given to me that its important to not forget to give back to others who have not been as fortunate as myself.

    I recently returned from a long stay abroad and my dad was asking me what I truly wanted to do from here. He knew (like I knew) that applying to these corporate jobs was not something I really wanted to do. He assured me that if dedicating myself to giving back to people, experiencing different views of the world, and sharing my talents and aspirations with others was what I strived toward, then there’s no point in doing something besides that.

    But like you Lauren, I have many people throughout my life that inspire me and to whom I should be thankful for. There’s one person in particular who has kind of changed me as a person for the few years that I’ve known them…

    It’s funny to experience being around the world meeting people and then going home to see the same faces that you grew up with but there are certain things that you can notice as people get older. Many don’t recognize what they have and that they should be thankful for it, and many have not had someone to be thankful with and share their emotions, adventures, and life talks :O) I think it’s something that is easier to realize once you are in someone else’s shoes, leave the comforts of your own domain and risk experiencing the ups and downs of life to where you truly find the small things in life to be thankful for.

    I think my experiences over the past couple of years with the person I discussed earlier has truly opened my mind to more things than I could have ever dreamed to be conscious of…and for those experiences, I am truly thankful!

    Thank you

    You write great stuff, I’m a huge fan!

    Mark

    • Hey Mark!
      Thanks again for the kind words of encouragement and keeping up with my posts!

      As for as answering the question, “What do you REALLY want to do?” well – it’s a fun question because the answers can be whatever the hell we want! But, doing what we REALLY want to do can be scary as hell! I hope you do what you WANT to do! Life has a way of auto-correcting itself if you’re truly doing what you’re meant to be doing, ya know? The corporate job could be a great opportunity, but if it doesn’t fit or feel right, well, then you know what you have to do 🙂 I try to keep this in mind myself all the time!

      And as far as leaving the comfort of your own shoes. That’s the only way to do it. You grow so much faster and more deeply, learn so much more, and discover so many things by doing that.

      May this year bring you many things to be thankful for as you go about doing what you really want to do! 🙂

  • I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. I couldn’t be more grateful right now for all the travels and people I am meeting. Thank you for bringing that to light.

    Besitos

    Samantha
    http://www.seasonedwithyouth.com

  • Lovely reflection on the soul of gratitude.

    I remember a story told a missionary lady to Mexico..went something like this: “I was just observing. I knew these people were happy. I just wanted to give them some Bibles in Spanish. I sat down next to a mother a daughter making tortillas on a rock. They were using a rock because it was the closest thing they had to a counter. When they were finished they offered me one. I politely said, no. Then they insisted. All I could say was “gracias” (partly because my Spanish was so bad.” She went on to say that they had given her more, and how this kind of work was more about “receiving,” and so forth.

    It’s not about what we have, it’s about recognizing it and sharing it, and saying thanks, obrigado, merci, gracias, et al.

    =),
    Makr

    The

    • Hey Mark!

      That’s a really powerful story and I really appreciate you sharing it. And the lesson of that story is so true – it’s about recognizing and sharing it. I’m learning this more now than ever actually. Well, maybe not learning, but recognizing it. I take the time every night write down the things I’m thankful for that morning to recognize it. But I also want to do all I can to share the things I’m thankful for, and to show my gratitude so it doesn’t go unsaid, as well as sharing all I have to offer because you’re right, it’s not all about taking, it’s about giving as well.

      Gracias Mark!
      Lauren