“Rest and be thankful.” –William Wordsworth

An important lesson, which we all are taught in life, is to be thankful for our blessings.  We have either learnt it from our parents or grandparents or our Value Education teachers.  We are taught to say thank you prayers for the small (not actually small) and big joys we experience every day without a conscious realization.

As a child, saying a thank you prayer was just an exercise.  But even today, when we are finally grown-ups, the actual realization seems distant.  Are we really thankful for everything we have?  Do we value what we have or take our life for granted?  Do we realize that we are lucky to be blessed with no disabilities and do we take conscious efforts to maintain our health?  Do we know that we have the opportunity of developing our talents which maximum people are deprived of?  We complain and grudge when life throws lemons at us but we do not stop and take a moment to wonder about the innumerable moments of pure happiness which come our way.

Being thankful is not just about saying thank you prayers or lighting a candle/diya when our wishes are fulfilled.  A mere prayer is not enough!

“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” 

I believe, charity is the true way of being grateful for whatever we have.  By charity I do not mean money only.  Charity could mean voluntarily donating blood or volunteering at a hospital or celebrating a festival at an orphanage or sponsoring the education of your maid’s child.  Even the smallest possible act can fill light in others’ lives and help us get rid of feelings of dissatisfaction and discontent.  We need to give a thought to the cause that is closest to our heart and research about places where we can volunteer for these causes.  Another wonderful way of giving away is Vidya-daan i.e. educating for free.  It is, in fact, also said to be the noblest form of charity.  One does not need a high-profile NGO to volunteer for free education.  It is possible to visit small organizations or schools and offer to teach once a week or once a month.

We all are indebted to the society in some way and charity is indeed the right way of paying back this debt.  Just like we have our saving plans, insurance plans and pension plans in place, we ought to have a ‘charity plan’ because, only saying ‘thank you’ is not enough!


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