Gratitude

Jeremy Bhimji
Author, Speaker, Trainer, Coach

Aug 20,2016

Why is it that people only want what they can’t have? Why don’t we stop and appreciate what we do have? Every single person out there knows exactly what I am talking about. I used to be this way, I never really understood what it meant to be truly grateful for something, until I had something that most of us take for granted almost taken from me.

A few years back, after a really bad hurricane in Florida, I was driving home from college classes in Tampa. My home town was about two hours south and I wanted to go home and help my dad with the clean up process that is inevitable after all storms like that in Florida.
About 20 miles from my house we ran out of gas getting off of the interstate. The gas station that was right off the exit was still closed, as many businesses are after storms. I told my girlfriend to wait in the car and I would start walking to try and find something that was open down the road. A young man in pickup truck saw me walking and offered to give me a lift to a gas station that he saw open a couple miles down the road. After I paid for my gas and filled up my gas can, I started to walk back to my car…unfortunately I never made it back. On the walk back, I got hit by an SUV going about 50 miles an hour.

When I woke up in the hospital, the doctor told me because of my injuries, that I might never regain the use of my legs. I immediately broke down and became angry. I told him that I was way too young to not be able to bounce back from this, and that there had to be some kind of mistake. He then told me something that I will never forget, he leaned in and said “You are lucky that you are here having this conversation with me, and not in the morgue, with me having this conversation with your loved ones. You should start with being grateful for that.” As I sat there in the bed, I started to think about what he said. He was right, I had overlooked the biggest part of this whole thing, how lucky I was to still be alive!
As I began my rehab, I started to be grateful for every little milestone I achieved. Every time I hit a new goal, I just was overcome with gratitude and soon that attitude of gratitude started to permeate to other parts of my life. I was grateful for the little things. Things like my house having air conditioning, running water, the grocery store having fresh produce, the support of my friends and family, comedy movies, the smell of flowers, and a soft bed to lay down in after a long day of rehab. Things that we almost always take for granted, that people in other countries would kill to have just one of.

Now that a few years have passed, and I am back to normal, I still hold gratitude in my heart as I go through my daily life. Every morning I go for a walk and say aloud what I am grateful for. My neighbors probably think that I am a nut-job, but I am very grateful that I am able to go for that walk every morning, regardless of what they think! I am also grateful that my neighbors have not called the cops or a psychiatric ward seeing if they had an escaped patient haha.

So what in your life are you grateful for? What things do you often overlook, that other people would love to have? What things are in your life now, that you once prayed for? Please don’t wait until something is taken away from you to be grateful for it.
One of my favorite quotes about gratitude is as follows, “It is not happiness that brings us gratitude, it’s gratitude that brings us happiness.”

-Jeremy Bhimji

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