Gratitude

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” — Epictetus

It is interesting that many folks who have “everything” – are unhappy.  Yet those who have little or nothing can often be very happy.  Why?   

Part of the reason is that people who feel a sense of gratitude in their lives – are more apt to be happy.  In the past, I’ve referenced TED Talks.  And I’ve posted on a few of my favorites that I watch while having lunch at my desk.  Well. . . . fasten your seat belts.  Here’s one that made my eyes misty.  This 9 minute program is on the subject of gratitude.  http://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_nature_beauty_gratitude?referrer=playlist-give_thanks#t-2392    

We all have reason – to be grateful.  Yet how often do we ponder this sentiment?  The talk ends with a powerful narrative by Brother David Steindl-Rast – a Benedictine monk – who expounds on the why gratitude is such an important emotion.  Among his comments – “Think of this day as the first day and the last day of your life.”  He asks — would you do anything different?  And “Each day is a giftLet your gratitude for this day flow through you and be a blessing to others.”  Strong, compelling words.  Inspiration to give.  Reason to be grateful.      

Help me. Please help me. . . . .

On December 29, 2016, I mentioned that I normally have lunch at my desk.  While doing so, I often watch a Ted Talk (  http://www.ted.com  ).   A few weeks later (2/5/17), I shared with you some of my favorite Ted Talks.  

I just had lunch at my desk (avocado and green pea soup plus a few squares of 72% dark chocolate).  And I watched a Ted Talk that had me pulling out my handkerchief.    Do me a favor.  Watch https://www.ted.com/talks/sophie_andrews_the_best_way_to_help_is_often_just_to_listen#t-851577   The presentation is 14 minutes and 24 seconds.  And worth your investment of time. 

The presenter, Sophie Andrews, speaks of her personal experience with two 24/7 lifeline organizations in the UK — Samaritans and The Silver Line.  She speaks of the agonizing desperation of people who are abused, alone, depressed.  And she speaks of how an army of volunteers in the UK are there — to help address this painful problem.  By listening.  Offering shoulders to lean on.  It’s not the government (don’t get me started on that).  It’s individuals — like most of you who are reading this post — who step up.  Listen.  Act.  And make a difference in the world.            

So How do we Heal?

Raise your hand if you want to spend the next year as angry and as worried about politics, political parties, liberals, conservatives, global tensions, social trauma, antifa, alt right and “stuff” that you don’t like.  Come on.  Hands up?    

I don’t see any hands. . . . .

In my prior post, I spoke of Jonathan Haidt’s classic book – The Righteous Mind.  It is – in my opinion – an excellent distillation of (as the subtitle says) – why good people are divided by politics and religion.  If you don’t have the time (or will) to read it, I want you to do something.  Please.  I am asking you. . . .   Spend 20 minutes to watch a Ted Talk.  It is an interview with Jonathan Haidt, the author.   The subject is “Can a Divided America Heal.”     http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_can_a_divided_america_heal  

Pew Research shows that our feelings about those on the “other side” of our hardwired beliefs have now morphed from dislike into disgust.  And hatred.  And a belief that the “other side” is a threat to us and to our nation.  Each side is developing its own moral matrix of what is right (or righteous) such that the issues that divide us are now greater than ever before.

This is a Ted Talk worth watching.  Twice.  Or three times.  And worth sending on to others.  I want my grandchildren – and their grandchildren – to grow up in an America that has civil discourse.  And respectful disagreement.  I believe you do too.    

Please.  20 minutes is all I ask. . . . . 

 

TED

On December 29th I spoke of TED Talks.  I continue to be enlightened, motivated, inspired and nourished by TED Talks – while lunching at my desk.  Some of you may have read the post and thought “interesting.”  And clicked “delete.”  Lemme try once more.  Below are a few of my favorite TED Talks.  Simple.  Straightforward.  And easy listening.  All 10 minutes or so.  C’mon.  Click.   The first one follows up my post of February 23, 2014:

The music of sign language http://www.ted.com/talks/christine_sun_kim_the_enchanting_music_of_sign_language 

Talking to strangers http://www.ted.com/talks/kio_stark_why_you_should_talk_to_strangers  

David Brooks – what’s better.  Your resume virtues?  Or eulogy virtues?http://www.ted.com/talks/david_brooks_should_you_live_for_your_resume_or_your_eulogy  

Before I die – http://www.ted.com/talks/candy_chang_before_i_die_i_want_to

Reclaiming religion  http://www.ted.com/talks/sharon_brous_it_s_time_to_reclaim_and_reinvent_religion

Having better political discussions http://www.ted.com/talks/robb_willer_how_to_have_better_political_conversations

Having lunch at your desk?  Bored?  Need a swift kick in the caboose?  Log on to http://www.ted.com – close your eyes and click.  You won’t be disappointed. 

TED

I have lunch at my desk nearly every day. And during that 20 to 30 minute break, I usually watch something that helps enlighten and develop my meager brain.  I may work on sign (or other) language skills (see post of 2/23/14).  Sometimes I take a continuing legal education course (I need at least 24 hours every two years).   Other times, I brush up on first aid know-how (see post of 6/12/14).  Lately, I’ve been listening to “TED Talks.”  

TED (Technology Entertainment Design) Talks was founded in 1984 as a Silicon Valley conference – which featured speakers on technology and design.  Since then, TED has blossomed into a free-viewing online educational network – on a host of topics.  TED’s slogan is “Ideas worth spreading.”  By November 2012, TED Talks had over one billion views.  

Live TED events are offered throughout North America, Europe and Asia.  But most of those who listen simply log in to http://www.ted.com and make a selection that suits their interest.  

TED speakers — who are carefully vetted —  are given a maximum of 18 minutes to make their pitch.  That fits perfectly into my midday nibble.   If you have 18 minutes to spare — you could not go wrong.  Listening to and learning from – TED. . . . . .