(From Marsha) Sometimes as we go through our day, we concentrate on what we want and don’t have, what ought to be, and what’s wrong with this or that. We forget to look at what we already have and can be thankful for. The following couple of paragraphs from the Newport 1980 workshop give some insight as to how we might look at these daily circumstances a little differently. Here it is:
Grace is to recognize we have all kinds of undeserved goods. In other words, I didn’t do anything to be here at the party. That was pure unadulterated gifty, ok? So we have reasonably good health and we can be thankful for about every other thing we have. There are interesting people around and there are interesting things to do. If we just think of all the things that were here when we were born, we have to say we have a lot of things we didn’t earn. In fact, I about got to the point we don’t earn anything, we just all make little contributions to things operating.
I tried to figure out one time that if one loaf of bread were made just for one of us through the commercial channels, that the thing would cost billions of dollars. So none of us could buy a loaf of bread – – as it is, we all contribute a little bit to the farmer, we all contribute a little bit to the transportation, we all contribute a little bit to the miller, we all contribute a little bit to the baker, and we all contribute a little bit to the yeast grower. We contribute a little bit, and we can then go over and buy a loaf of bread for less than a dollar even with inflation. (Well with inflation it’s more now.) So I would say that we don’t ever earn anything – – that about everything I have I consider is “undeserved goods” or “grace” that has just simply been laid on me.
So I have, certainly, a very decided sense of being very thankful for all these undeserved goods and I believe maybe being thankful is truly an action of one sort or another.
(From Marsha) And the experiment might be: How do I feel inside when I re-evaluate all that I already have; and when the inner state sees this, the feeling can be radiated throughout our day to others.