Remembering: Little advantages
“Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.” — Benjamin Franklin
Just as it’s often the minor irritations that distract us and wear us down, so too the power of small blessings can transform our lives. The trick is becoming aware of them. Sunny weather, fragrant blooms, a cup of hot tea on a chilly morning, the delicious smell of food when we’re hungry…what little advantages are brightening your day today?
Update for 11-14-13, one year later:
Those who read this blog frequently will recognize a common theme in this post. I do a lot of blogging about the small pleasures in life and the everyday things we tend to take for granted. I may seem slightly obsessive about it, but it would not be an exaggeration to say that I’ve often thought my sanity has been preserved by focusing on the small (or not-so-small) blessings that are present no matter how bad things get.
Many years ago, I heard a minister begin a sermon with a series of questions that he suggested we answer on paper, just for our own review. He didn’t tell us where he was headed with it. He asked things such as: what is a gadget you use every day? What is the first switch you turn on in the morning? Who is one of your favorite relatives? What school teacher do you remember most fondly? And so on. When he finished, he told us to look over our lists and ask ourselves whether we had ever thought to be thankful for those things. That sermon is one of the most memorable I have ever heard. It made me aware that my Walkman, my lamp, my Aunt Peggy and my fourth grade teacher, among countless other people, memories and things, made me a very rich person indeed.
I hope you will share some thoughts about your own “little advantages” with us today. We might discover more blessings to add to our own lists!
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