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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ADAM OLSEN: Raising my hands in gratitude


Just a quick note before you read this post from Adam Olsen, which I feel is very timely.  There is a lot we can and should be grateful for, in whatever manner we choose to use in showing it.  The other day I was thinking of all the scandals that we’ve been hearing recently in both federal and provincial politics ... issues south of the border ... and hot spots around the world.  With all of that happening sometimes it’s hard to see things to be grateful for, however they are all around us. 



Thank you, Adam, for writing this post; a reminder of all there is to be grateful for ... Alan


I am thankful for this opportunity to capture and blog a few thoughts everyday. And, I am thankful for the people who read it, share it, and offer their feedback.

Thankfulness is popping up quite a bit recently.

During my journey practicing mindfulness with Sam Harris’ Waking Up meditation course, I chose a three-minute extra-curricular lesson on gratitude.

He said something that caught my attention. It's a reminder of how truly blessed I am, and how little time I actually spend thoughtfully thankful for it.

My family was sitting at the dinner table. It was a normal day, and looking at the faces of my family everyone appeared to be in a mediocre mood.

But then I thought, what if I was dead. I would do anything and everything I could to get back to this moment with my family.


And, then I thought, there are at least a billion people in the world right now who would consider their dreams had come true if they were in my situation. With a house, a family, and healthy food.”

His detail is lost in my paraphrasing, but this point captures why thankfulness is so powerful.

My mediocre is someone’s pinnacle. This could be a thought of almost everyone, in every situation.

Our culture trains us to focus on wanting and needing more. The script running through the back our minds tells us we are not good enough. Instagram confirms it for us.

Our culture does not focus on the benefits of gratitude. The feeling of comfort that this mediocre moment with my family is indeed a moment that I may never get again. And, when it is in that context, perhaps it is a little easier to honour it as much.

Practicing gratitude
So, at the end of each day my little family sits down with a notebook and captures ten things we are grateful for. Then, we share them with each other.

A lot has changed for us since we started this practice. I wonder what could change for you if you did the same?


Adam Olsen is the Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Saanich North and the Islands

Born in Victoria, BC in 1976, Adam has lived, worked and played his entire life on the Saanich Peninsula. 

He is a member of Tsartlip First Nation (W̱JOȽEȽP), where he and his wife, Emily, are raising their two children, Silas and Ella.

Comments

  1. Well said but incomplete, though a hint is of the problem is given in, "Our culture does not focus on the benefits of gratitude." The question of what makes our personal situations is implied but needs to be dug out of our subconsciousness to make sure we are aware of what can be lost. then we need to take it to the next step, the most important question we need to ask ourselves ... 'Am I acting in a manner that doesn't undermine the very things I value?'

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well said Garret, especially your comment:
    ... the most important question we need to ask ourselves ... 'Am I acting in a manner that doesn't undermine the very things I value?'

    ReplyDelete

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