Last week, during my morning walk, suddenly a line from a Malayalam poem by Sugathakumari came to my mind: Nandiyaarodu chollendu… (Whom I should thank…). The context was, the previous day, I was reading a piece in Speaking Tree (www.speakingtree.in or a weekly 8 page supplement coming with Times of India @Rs3) which exhorted readers to profusely thank for every good thing that has happened/happening in life.

Like many of you, till recently, I was also under the impression that I was doing all right things and ‘others’ were wrong and were the reason for my failures and troubles in life. I am on a different track, now!
For the last 10 years or so, I go for a morning walk for about an hour between 6 15 and 7 15 a m. walking is only for about 40 minutes. 20 minutes spent in collecting newspapers and taking morning tea. Yes, I take my morning tea ‘outside’.
While in Thiruvananthapuram, I take tea in a glass, standing in the open, from Chandran’s tea shop @Sastamangalam.  Others who take morning tea there include several local VIPs like Palode Ravi(now deputy Speaker, Kerala Assembly), Surya Krishnamurthy’s brother Ramamurthy and their many friends who gather there after morning walk. Chandran has a busy time from 6 30 a m to late in the night.
While in Bhandup(Mumbai), I take my morning tea @Prarthana Hotel after collecting milk and morning newspapers. Here tea is served in cup. I do not meet many friends here. That gives me time to think while sipping the tea.
Today, the thoughts went like this. How many ‘hands’ would have worked to make it possible for me to sit comfortably and sip this cup of tea? From workers in the tea garden to those who gave shape to the cup in my hand. From those who collected milk to those who made tea here. From the carpenters who made the chair and table I am using to the building workers  who would have worked when this shop building was constructed. Those who produced cotton for the shirt I am wearing to the employees in the new note press who made it possible to carry cash in my pocket. Hundreds of people, may be thousands have worked hard to make me enjoy a cup of tea this morning. I thank all of them.
Bonus Reading
The Power of Thanksgiving
By David Schwerin
At this time of year many cultures and spiritual traditions remind us of the importance of appreciating life’s blessings. Research has shown that feeling gratitude lowers stress, enhances physical and emotional well-being and leads to greater life satisfaction. Positive thoughts are uplifting and lead us to recognize the abundance and benevolence around us. The natural inclination, for many, is to focus on problems and take good things for granted.
Yet even our problems can be viewed in a different light if we take a different view. People who annoy us, for example, are often a true gift. They teach us things we might otherwise disregard by mirroring back unflattering traits we need to see in our selves. We attract people who vibrate at the same frequency and who often have similar traits we might prefer to ignore. Someone who irritates us may simply be highlighting where our real work lies. In Carlos Castaneda’s books “petty tyrants” are considered to be our greatest teachers. It behoves us to see every encounter and experience as a gift.
To change negative thoughts to life affirming ones, try the following:
Maintain a gratitude journal; what are you grateful for today
Appreciate what you have rather than focusing on what is lacking
Be generous with your praise and affection for others; what goes around comes around
Go easy on yourself; no one is perfect
View all circumstances and events as learning experiences
Think of all the things you are grateful for before you go to bed and upon arising in the morning.
Give thanks for your family and friends and acquaintances; you are connected for a reason
Give thanks for the abundance in your life – both mundane and sacred
Give thanks for the natural beauty that surrounds us
Give thanks for those who mentor us and serve as role models
Give thanks to those who forgive our mistakes
Give thanks for the opportunity to contribute to life
Give thanks for the chance to learn, grow and evolve
Give thanks for the opportunity to make mistakes so learning is accelerated
Give thanks for those who watch over and guide us
"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice." – Meister Eckhart



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