Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gratitude is the key to happiness 1

One of the most important things in our lives is gratitude. In Seicho-No-Ie (SNI) we are grateful to everyone and everything in the universe. The Divine Message of Grand Harmony states, "Those who are grateful to God but cannot be grateful to their parents are against the Divine Will. To be reconciled means to be grateful to everything in the universe." So, gratitude is the key to happiness because we need harmony and peace in order to become happy.

There are many levels of gratitude. Being grateful under happy circumstances is easy, but being grateful during challenging life circumstances is difficult. However, always being grateful to everyone and everything in the universe is the secret to happiness and fulfillment. Then, do we have to be gateful to something or someone when our lives feel so bleak that we believe that we cannot muster even an ounce of gratitude? Well, I would say, "We have to find gratitude even in the midst of suffering, misfrtune, sickness or poverty." We tend to complain about negative things around us, rather than being grateful to things that we have been already blessed with in our daily lives. Our words which include our thoughts, spoken words,atttudes and expressions crate our daily lives. Therefore, if we always concentrate our minds on only positive and good things around us and try to be grateful, we will be able to create only good futures.

In order to be always grateful, we should be grateful to every blessing we have received from our parents, friends, society and nature. Then, we will be gradually able to find something that we can be grateful to even when we experience what we percive to be a negative situation. The Seicho-No-Ie Founder, Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi wrote:

"Just stop for a few moments and think of the many blessings nature gives us that are essential to our life. Think of how much all living things provide us, without which our existence cannot be sustained. Have we not heretofore been too insensitive to the innumerable gifts accorded us in various forms, both visible and invisible? Indeed, we have taken too little notice of all those blessings. Because we have taken them for granted, we have neglected to be grateful out of ignorance.

"Even though they are actually there, nothing comes into existence, so long as you do not recognize them. For example, even if there was a one-million-dollar check in your pocket, unless you are aware of it, it is as if it were not there. So it is with everything. Be it a blessing of nature, love of people, love of parents, or love of country, unless you yourself are perceptive enough to sense and acknowledge it, it is as if it did not exist...It is indeed only when we perceive and recognize all the blessings and gifts provided that they are ours." (from "365 Golden Keys To The Summit Of Fulfillment")

To appreciate gifts from nature is a way, and to express your gratitude to this country is also important. We, who currently live n the United States, receive many blessings from the country.
One day I went to one of the middle schools for a prent-teacher conference and waited in the classroom. On the wall of the room I saw a lot of beautiful words of wisdom. For example, "Stand up for what you think is right, even if you're standing alone." "Respect yourself. If you don't, nobody else will." "No one is a failure who keeps trying." These are true.

There are many similar words posted on the wall. Seeing these,I was moved and was grateful to the environment of my children's education. When I was a middle school student in Japan, no teacher taught this kind of truth. There were no words of wisdom on the wall of the classroom. Fortunatel, my parents were SNI members, and I learned these words of truth at SNI youth seminars. In this country, children are able to learn these words of truth naturally at the middle school. I thought I could see the source of the strength of this country at a glance. We have to be grateful to the country that gives our children such a wonderful education. (to be continued tomorrow)

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