Gratitude is the one aspect of life that can truly make a difference to your happiness on a daily basis. How long can you go without seeing a loved one? A day? A week? A month? A year? If I went without seeing one of my loved ones for a week, I would miss them. So can you imagine the possibility of someone not seeing their mother and father for 21 years? Can you imagine not seeing a sister or a brother for 29 years? My father can. In 1991, my father fled war torn Iraq with my mother, brother and sister. He escaped the country without saying a proper goodbye to his family. Years went by after having arrived in Australia in 1993 without seeing any of his loved ones. It wasn't until 2013, my father got a call saying his father had to go into an emergency procedure and at that time, his other siblings (5 brothers and 1 sister) were all scattered around the world. Being the eldest sibling, he felt it was his duty to be by his father's side. With the little money he had, he flew to California and went to see his father. It wasn't the ideal scenario to visit a loved one he had not seen in 21 years due to an emergency. He was hoping that when he retired he'd be able to visit his parents and his siblings across the world. That didn't go to plan and my father had to rush before it was too late. Thank the heavens that my Grandpa recovered as the procedure went well and my father got to spend time with his parents. You see growing up, we never had an abundance of wealth. The war in Iraq tore my parents always from their siblings. I have uncles and aunties in Denmark, France, Belgium, America, Iraq, Australia and other relatives all around the world. My father explains that seeing his parents for the first time in soooo long was an extremely happy and extremely sad moment in his life. They had aged soo much since they last saw or hugged one another. I thought to myself "This is not how life should be". My father still hasn't seen some of his brothers and sisters since that day he left in 1991. He keeps in touch with them but you can imagine that the physical presence of someone significantly outweighs a phone call.
I see the love he has for them and how it pains him that he has not seen them in so long. Seeing my father go through this really made me appreciate the life that i have here in Australia. Seeing my parents everyday, seeing my siblings and seeing my loved ones regularly is truly something that most of us take for granted.
The point of this post is to emphasise the need to practice being grateful. Be grateful for having loved ones, be grateful for family and be grateful for whatever it is that you have because you literally never knew when it is going to be taken away from you. Perspective is key to being grateful. Although not always easy to obtain, perspective is a necessity in order to achieve gratitude in your life.
Practice my friends.