Some days are made for rain and some days are made for the sun to shine. We people are made to go through life, solve problems and be happy with the victories we chalk along the way. Life is running fast. It doesn’t wait for you to get up and dust off so you can start again. It’s a forever rolling brooks that constantly falls and trips over stones on its way.
We are very busy. We Try to catch up with life. We forget to look back and be thankful for the things that happened in our lives yesterday. We forget to look up everyday and be thankful for the skies and the air that refreshes our weary souls. We forget the meaning of being gracious with life. We forget to show gratitude for the little things because—because life is so wrong sometimes that it breaks us down.
How are we to show gratitude when constantly life refuses us a three square meal a day? How are we to have a heart of gratitude when everything we love is ending? How do we say we are grateful when our hearts are broken by the people we profess love to everyday? Can we be grateful and mean it when all around us are falling apart?
I tossed a coin to a beggar one early morning. When the coin hit his bowl, he wanted to raise his head and say something to me—I guessed he wanted to say he was thankful for the money. But then I realized he was finding it uneasy to raise his head. He was a weak man who had stayed all night under the weather hoping someone will bless his bowl so he could afford some food.
When finally I did, he was too weak to raise the head and say “thank you.” I walked away too quick for him to gather the strength left in him to say thank you. He was thankful for a coin but didn’t have the strength to say it. Then I knew I’ve taking a lot for granted. A lot I have to be thankful for.
So today here are my list of things I’m Thankful for;
#1. I’m thankful for the lady who left me for another guy. She broke my heart but she was the reason I’m living with a beautiful wife and a son. She left a vacuum for a miracle to take place. A miracle I call love. A miracle I call a wife. And the grace of a beautiful son she alone can bring forth.
#2. I’m thankful for the hand that held me up anytime I fell as a child learning to walk. Now I can run because someone’s hand kept me up. I didn’t learn to walk because it’s natural for a man to walk. I learned to walk because someone taught me. Someone had the patient to say; “come closer, just another step is all you need.” A step after another then I begun running.
#3. I’m thankful for the day I nearly died in a car accident. I was young but I could learn a lot that day. It brought me closer to my own mortality. It taught me I’m just a man made of blood and flesh. Anywhere, anytime I can lose the life I’m taking for granted. I learned to live cautiously. I’m here not because I’ve succeeded in outsmarting death. I’m here because I’ve lived life cautiously.
#4. I’m thankful for all the writers whose work I’ve read and I’ve been inspired in one way or the other. Even the bad books I read gave me the opportunity to be with myself and learn the difference between what a good book is and what it is not.
#5. I’m thankful for the mosque right behind my window. I’m thankful for the Imam who never missed a second to scream in prayers at each dawn. He gave me the opportunity to be up early and read a page or two of a book. Today I live far away from the mosque. I learnt the Imam died some years ago. But today, it’s become my attitude to be up exactly same time to read and write. I’m grateful.
#6. I’m thankful for all those who said ‘No” to me when all I thought I needed to hear was a yes. Your ‘no’ didn’t break me. You gave me a ‘no’ so I could go on to find a ‘yes’ somewhere else. You gave me an opportunity everyday you said ‘no’ to me to expand and look for more people who can give me same opportunities. Today I have many friends because I didn’t stop with your ‘No’. I pushed further till someone said ‘yes’ to me.
#7. I’m thankful for the suspension from work without a salary. I’m thankful for the people who sat in the meeting that day and decided I should go on suspension. That day was the point I realize I could lose my job at anytime. Someone could take my job away from me because they have the power to. So I learnt to create a safety net. A safety net of a job I could call my own.
#8. I’m thankful for this DJ on the radio. He’s been playing all my favorite songs since I sat here and begun writing this piece. I’m thankful for the soothing relief music brings to my soul; for all the band and musicians who made it possible for me to have a song I can call my favorite.
#9. For all the days I couldn’t go on. For all the times the going got harder. For all the moments I couldn’t see beyond the horizon, all I heard were voices of beautiful friends who kept urging me to start again, move on and win. I’m thankful for friends. Their voices are all I look up to hear whenever I needed to talk to someone. Whenever I needed to hear a lie—a lie that later becomes my truth, it’s friends I looked up to.
#10. I’m thankful for the traditional nurse (wanzam) who circumcised me when I was a baby. I look at my penis today and I’m proud of the work he had to put in to get such awesome shape. I didn’t know how many years experience he had before doing mine. But I believe he missed his calling. He should have been a sculptor.
#11. Ultimately I’m thankful to you. I mean you reading this post. I wrote this to be read. You give meaning to my work as a writer. Sometimes nothing gives me the motivation to put a word on paper. But when I think of you. When I think of your desire to read something and smile, I wake up and stare at the blinking cursor till a word pops up in my head. You are my encouragement. You are my inspiration. I write for you.
There are no times to be grateful. There are no perfect day to have a heart of gratitude. Each day. Every passing moment is inherent with graceful moments—moments you can look up to and be glad you are part of. Don’t wait for bigger grace to be thankful. Every simple win is right and ripe for gratitude.
You can be thankful for these too;
a. When the weather forecast says there is going to be 100% chance of rainfall on your wedding day and the forecast was wrong.
b. Seeing a smile on someone’s face and knowing you are the reason for that smile
c. An unexpected gush of fresh air in a night when you can’t sleep because your room is too warm
d. Seeing a baby smile for no reason at all.
e. When you are late for an important program but you get there and realize the program is yet to start.
f. Listening to a song and realizing that the lyrics talk about everything you are and what you’ve been through.
g. Seeing yourself in the pupil of your lovers eye and feeling the warmth of belonging to someone.
h. Seeing an old picture of yourself and realizing how far you’ve come. And knowing you still have the love of those people you are with in the photo.
i. Waking up from a horrible dream and realizing all the horrors was just but a dream
j. For the office Wi-Fi that gives you the opportunity to apply for another job.
Being thankful is not to say everything is right for you. Being grateful is a choice you make. Being grateful is an understanding that in the midst of everything that is wrong, there’s this tiny light that flickers. It’s the flickering of light that gives you hope there is another better day coming. It is the flicker that reminds you that though the rains got your neighborhood flooded, a farmer needs it for the growth of his crops.
What are you thankful for?