How Far Does Your Gratitude Extend?

May 22, 2010
How can you use gratitude to realize that every person who directly helps you in some way is supported by a widening circle of people that extends around the goal?

Purple star flowerA few years ago I wrote that before I have breakfast I always begin with a simple “Thank you, God,” addressing my sentiment to the spirit or power that I believe supports my presence on this earth. Then I always include at least two more thanks. One concerns the source of my food for my physical and emotional well-being. The other is often influenced by something I see in the paper.

This morning I gave thanks for my oatmeal, which came out of a package of instant oats and which I haven’t had it for awhile. The way my thanks went is something like this:

I am grateful for the farmer who grew the oats, the people who designed the tractor with which he harvested the oats, the person who drove the truck to the factory where the oats were processed, the mechanic who oiled the machine so it would work effectively, the accountant who wrote a check to that person so he would get paid for his labors, the person who designed the package so it would be one that I would choose, the clerk who stacked the shelf on which I found it, the clerk who sold me the tea kettle in which I boiled the water for the cereal, the person who supports her by being a friend or partner,  the store that employees her, the accountant at that store who sees that she gets paid, and so on.

The Los Angeles Times, which I read as I eat breakfast, always has a story on the front page that gives me a chance to be grateful for the photographer who took the picture (worth a thousand words), the person who designed the camera, the person who taught her how to take the picture, the reporter who took the facts and turned them into an article written with a deadline I don’t think I could manage, those who provide support to the photographer, the reporter, the person who delivers my paper, etc.

Again, having a paper to read is a great opportunity to see myself as a recipient of an ever-widening circle of news gatherers and those on whom they rely for support.

Then today I gave particular thanks for members of my mastermind group, which is part of the Self Growth Marketing program. You see, recently I listened to a teleseminar by David Riklin of SelfGrowth.com as he critiqued several websites and I decided I had to redo the Support4Change homepage. Then in the weekly call of the group I asked Cheryl, Billie, Kathryn, Holly, Tera, Emily, Donna, and Kayli what they thought of the design. Well, they told me. And they were right. I needed to redesign it again. Now I like it much better and will again ask their feedback next Thursday. (You can check out the homepage and give me your own feedback.)

When I thought of them before eating my breakfast this morning, I felt especially grateful to each of them for their willingness to give their opinions so I can keep making Support4Change a site in which I am proud. I also felt gratitude for all the people who support Cheryl, Billie, Kathryn, Holly, Tera, Emily, Donna, and Kayli —- and all the people who support them and all the people who support them and . . .

If you give thanks like this, you will realize that giving thanks for your food, the news you read in the paper or see on television, and the help you get from others only scratches the surface. As your gratitude expands beyond the immediate help or blessing you have been given, you will recognize that every person who directly helps you in some way is supported by a widening circle of people that extends around the globe. You need all of them and they need you as well.

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