November 16th, 2011


Journal of gratitude, entry #18: my advantages and opportunities

Today is Day #18 of my gratefulness. Today, I am grateful for my advantages and opportunities.

I feel like these are the easiest blessings to take for granted, and are frequently the ones that we forget.

When I start thinking about how many advantages and opportunities I have, I often get lost in my thoughts, because the list is seemingly never-ending.

There are fortunate circumstances I was just born into -- culturally, socially, economically -- that I had absolutely no control over, but put me in a position of advantage in this world. Every time I pray, I thank God for my advantages and opportunities: for being born in a country which enjoys so many freedoms and liberties, for being born into a large, loving family like mine, for being born into an English speaking household, etc. I consider living where I do an enormous advantage -- one of the most prosperous states in the world.

I feel like not being grateful for this is almost sinful. There are so many other people out there in the world who can't even fathom what it would be like to live in such fortunate circumstances because their lives are so difficult, just by the very nature of where they were born in the world. I could have been born anywhere, but I was born here, into my awesome family, and enjoying many social, cultural and economic benefits. All of these things are out of my hands, but I acknowledge God in them. Not as proof that He loves me more than other people, but that He has the power to give and take away, and that if He's paying attention, I give Him the credit. I also feel very intensely that it is within my scope and responsibility to care for and help those along who were not born into such privilege.

I enjoy a lot of opportunities because of my advantages -- chances for learning, choices for recreation, choices for employment. I've had the opportunity to meet and learn from some amazing people in my life, and it's not because of anything I've done, and it's not because I deserved it, and I fully acknowledge that. My life didn't have to be this awesome, it could have been way worse, and I am so grateful for all of my opportunities, but especially the opportunity to have the freedom to say whatever I want, and go wherever I want. I love the opportunity I have every Sunday to go to church, and to renew my covenants with God, continually trying to improve and better my life. My heart is overflowing with gratitude.

The most prominent advantage I enjoy is being born into this awesome, attractive looking family!