“You should count your blessings that ….”, was a phrase my parents used frequently through my childhood.
It was used in many contexts:
Perhaps I was complaining that dinner was not to my liking … in which case I would be reminded about the many places around the world people were starving;
Perhaps I was complaining that I had to do homework … not everyone had access to the kind of education I did;
Maybe I was jealous of another child’s toy … in which case I was reminded of all those who were in a worse situation than myself.
What my parents were doing was conditioning me to be an optimist … to look at the world with a glass half full attitude. I could equally have chosen to just resent the analogies, but those “old world” sayings were powerful messages that stuck with me and helped to shape my outlook on life.
I certainly didn’t appreciate it at the time … but most of us have trouble with the lessons that life provides, whether through our parents, circumstance, our boss or any other means.
However we need to learn life’s lessons and really understand them in order to become better people.
My family were not privileged, we had all of the necessities of life and very few of the luxuries … but what we did have were parents who were willing to teach us the important things in life. As they say on the Mastercard ads …that is priceless!
Do you understand when you are being taught one of life’s important lessons … or do you just resent the feedback?
Are you passing that knowledge along … to your children, your colleagues, your staff and your mentees?
Think about that!