Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Mantra: I Will Be Thankful

A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: I will be thankful for what I have been given

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. "
- Thornton Wilder

Last Thursday I went and volunteered with my friend, Nichole, at the V.A. Hospital in Phoenix. I didn't know what I would be doing, but I knew that if it was something Nichole had signed me up for, it would be something wonderful. 

And it was. 

The event was easy. Almost too easy. All we had to do was play Bingo with the residents, get them cookies to munch on, and keep them company for a couple of hours. Just that, in exchange for all they had done, didn't seem like enough. To them, though, it meant the world.

I sat at a table with a gentleman named Bob. He thanked me, repeatedly, for taking time out of my busy day to spend with him. He was kind, polite, and cheerful. He smiled- a lot. He laughed- a lot. I dare say he was jovial, even!

Bob was confined to a wheelchair. In fact, he couldn't care for himself at all. This man - whose hands were so bent and mangled that he couldn't pick up his own Bingo chips, let alone feed himself the cookies he loved - was one of the happiest people I'd met in a very long time. All he had done, all he had given up, and there he was, thanking me for moving his Bingo chips for him. I couldn't quite believe it. It didn't seem fair. 

The Bingo caller, George, was the other resident who left an impression on me. While he was restricted to a wheelchair physically, his spirit was free. He was full of zest, life, and excitement. He was bursting with joy. The most remarkable thing to me about George was how happy he was about everything- getting to call the Bingo numbers, hanging out with his friends, eating the cookies one of the volunteers had brought in. George was a ball of happiness and, even more so, gratitude.

Every single chance George had, he thanked the girl who had brought the cookies. By "every single chance" I mean, after every number he called he would say, "I really want to thank the lady that brought the cookies!" or, "That lady was so nice to bring cookies. Thank you so much!", over and over and over. 


Cookies had made his day and he, and all his friends there, had done so much more. Yet, there they were, happy and thankful for every little thing. Every single cookie.

I learned an important lesson from Bob and George that day. How you view your life is truly and soley up to you. If you allow life's challenges and lessons to beat you down and ruin you, they will. If you choose to rise above them, to wake each morning being thankful for the life you've been given, you will. 

When you stop to think about it, there are a million little reasons to be thankful. Like cookies. There are a million big reasons, too. Like freedom. So be thankful for what you have, every little thing, every single person. Be thankful for the life you've got. It was meant to be yours. It was meant for you. 


Mediocre Renaissance Man said...

What a cool story. :)

The things you do and the perspective you bring to your experiences make for really great blog posts.

I really appreciate all that you do and share!

Chantelle Says said...

Thank you, sir! I really appreciate YOU. :)