There’s plenty of time!
“I want to seriously practice gratitude; I’ve even got myself a journal so I can start penning my day’s list but I just don’t have the time!”
I overheard this line at the airport recently. Turning to look for the source of this genuine consternation, I saw a young woman dressed in a crisply ironed business suit, talking to an older man holding a pile of files and laptop. We were in line for boarding and as I walked up the stairs into the aircraft, I overheard the man gently tell her, “there’s plenty of time”.
As I went on and took my seat, the man’s words stayed with me. The more I thought about it, the more I agreed with him. There’s always plenty of time to practice gratitude.
After all, it starts with two small simple words that take exactly one second to say – even less to think! Really, there’s plenty of time…
When you’ve sprinted along the platform and just when you think, you’ve missed the local train, one man from that crowd shifts to make just enough space for you,
When you slip and fall on a wet floor or potholed sidewalk and a perfect stranger extends his hand to help you up and asks if you’re alright,
When despite being surrounded by twenty women jostling over each other to grab the best vegetables on the cart, the vendor hands you not only the exact change, but also a few extra sprigs of curry leaves,
When you’re running late for the most important meeting of your life and the cab or rickshaw driver senses your urgency and takes shortcuts to get you there on time,
When in a crowded noisy restaurant full of irate customers, your waiter gets you the correct order promptly and well made,
When you’re trying to cross a busy road and one car stops to let you pass, inspiring others to stop and let you go on your way,
When your old mother or father suddenly feel unwell on their morning walk and a friendly person you’ve never seen before helpfully escorts them home,
When you move into a new house, the neighbors ask you if you have enough drinking water and share information about the nearest grocery store,
When on a train journey, the aloof looking man sitting across wakes you up at the right station,
When you’re scared of stray dogs and you walk into a lane full of them, the man or woman walking behind you protects you and keeps the dogs at a distance,
When you’re out of town and the nosy neighbor you always avoid, waters your plants so they are thriving when you return,
When you’re in a murderous rage at your boss and a fellow employee you rarely talk to offers you a glass of water and her chair to sit down and calm yourself,
When you’re getting your house painted and the painters stay back a while at the end of each day and help you wipe the windowsills clean,
When you’re down with a high fever and the maid who does your dishes, cooks some rice for your meal without the slightest expectation of extra money,
When you’re living all alone in a big city, eating a lonely meal at a street cart and the vendor keeps exchanging small talk so you don’t feel half as miserable as you look,
When the point of your pencil breaks in class and the biggest bully lends you his extra pencil,
When the airhostess or flight steward clear up your tray after you’ve eaten,
When the security guard of your building smiles at you as you leave for or come back from work,
When someone in your family takes one look at your face and understands that you just need a bit of quiet, and switches off the interesting show on television,
When the pizza delivery guy stands soaking wet in the rain, holding an umbrella over your pizza so you can enjoy a hot meal,
When your sister (who absolutely hates cooking!) goes out of her way and makes a plate of your favorite noodles for you when you get home soaking wet and hungry,
When from concern about you getting enough rest, your parents whisper to each other all of Sunday morning so as not to wake you up,
Last but definitely not the least, when you sometimes, in a small simple way take care of yourself and put your dreams before the long list of professional to dos,
Then….. there’s plenty of time to say, think and feel Thank You!
There really is plenty of time to practice gratitude, if only we listen and see and feel.
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