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10 Things To Be Grateful For
Untitled Document

10 THINGS TO BE GRATEFUL FOR

Learn How To Be Grateful For What You Already Have!

After all the financial and emotional turmoil of the last year, it is probably easy to think of every problem you have to deal with, whether you need to find another job, pay for new brakes on your car, or move in with your parents to save a dime. Things are pretty bleak today, right? Wrong.

Life is good, people. We have it better today than humans have in the entire history of our existence. It is easy to see the things that are wrong with our society, our environment and our government, but if you are lucky enough to live in America today, you should be extremely grateful. If you are a woman living in America today, you should air-kiss the spacious skies and hug the amber waves of grain, because in many places of the world, women are still considered to be second-class citizens at best, and property at the worst.

Here are some other things to be thankful for:

1. Life, duh. If you are reading this, you are alive. And along with the wonderful, immeasurable, fantastic gift of life comes a few drawbacks, like mosquitoes, the DMV and death. Pretty good deal, don’t you think? I’ll take it!

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2. Food. With all the stressful eat-this-eat-that fat-obsessed nature of modern American culture, you might forget the sensual pleasure that comes with every bite you take. Food is one of the most enjoyable parts of life. And we get to eat it every day, several times! Ancient humans spent a large part of their lives hungry; realize how good your pantry has it and whether you are noshing on carrot sticks and diet dip or indulging in a hot fudge sundae, take the time to enjoy…. every…bite!

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3. Music. No one in this world can say that music has made their lives worse. Music has the power to change moods and make you happy, excited or calm. It speaks a special language with your body and can move it without the permission of your brain, resulting in the euphoric phenomenon known as dance. If music is not a giant part of your life, then you are missing out and need to find the type of music that speaks to you, whether it is Beethoven or Bhangra. And then turn it up.

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4. Hot Showers. Most of us take a hot shower every single day, maybe two. However this ridiculous luxury has only come about in the past generation or so; our grandparents were still bathing in tubs of cold water probably hauled up from a moldy well. The next time you hop in the shower, don’t rush through and scrub yourself off like bathing is a chore, but rather relax, lather up, and enjoy one of life’s great pleasures.

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5. Laughter. No matter how sad or sorry the situation, humans have always been able to laugh at themselves and at life. Laughter is power, and as long as you keep your sense of humor intact and don’t take yourself seriously, you will have one up on the world. The next time something bad happens to you and you spill a gallon of red wine, have a fender bender or get a notice that your rent is going up, try laughing to help you deal with the problem. Concentration camp survivors found something to laugh at about their situation, and you can too.

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6. Speaking up. The American airwaves are so saturated with people yelling their opinions that it is easy to forget that in many places of the world you cannot disagree with the government for fear of being imprisoned, or worse. Remember how important the right to free speech is, and also remember that every word you put out into the world, online or otherwise, has power and creates energy. Make your words count.

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7. Birth Control. Up until the last generation, you could choose either not to have sex, or not to have babies. Obviously, that is not much of a choice. Opting out of having children during certain times of life with the invention of dependable birth control has paved the way for great advancements and opportunities for females. Be smart, stay safe, and realize that you can choose when to have children with a little planning.

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8. Generosity of Others. The love and support of friends and family makes it possible for you to be who you are. No human is an island; we depend on others to help us, whether it is a ride to the grocery store, a thoughtful critique of an essay, or simply a listening ear. Be conscious of the people who have given to you, and thank them whenever you get the chance, from your parents to the barista at your coffeeshop.

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9. The Internet. It was only ten years ago when booking a hotel room in Paris meant calling, faxing or paying a travel agent and then waiting a week to hear back. Now, you can not only instantly book a hotel room but also compare it to twenty others, read feedback from customers around the world, map it out on GPS and watch a slideshow of the lobby. The web has opened up the entire world to anyone with access to a computer, and has revolutionized the way we handle, sort and process information. And let us not forget Facebook.

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10. YOU. Lastly, be thankful for yourself. You are a unique person who at the very least knows how to read and use a computer, giving you a leg up on the majority of the rest of the world. What else can you be thankful for? Take a moment to look at yourself and your life and consider your many blessings. You are breathing, you are thinking, and you are on your way up.

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Shilo Urban is a freelance writer who has just relocated to Los Angeles after her previous homes of Seattle, New Zealand, Paris, Maine, and Austin. She is an active member of the West Coast electronic music community and lives to promote the art that she loves and the people who create it.



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