“If the only prayer you say is ‘Thank You’, that would suffice,” says Meister Eckhart, a philosopher, and theologian. This, thank you is what I call gratitude. Sometimes, when flowery words are not powerful enough to express your gratitude, a simple thank you does it all.
Sometimes I have to spend a midnight in the railway station waiting for the train or cross a dacoit area at ten in the night while the city is in slumber by eight. And sometimes, if I had to attend natures call in the night during transit, I could not because I was a girl! On the emotional side, on the rare occasions it gets lonely, you would have no one to speak to because there is no phone signal. Or the journey gets tiring due to bad roads and my spinal cord screams for a bed to rest on.
Being a travel writer, I travel for the stories of the NGOs and their founders – to learn from their experience and translate the same into writing. Most of these NGOs are based out of rural areas in India. Places which I never knew existed.
It is during these times that a small hello from a stranger offering a cup of tea, a woman walking out of the village dhaba and showing me the way to her house for using the washroom, the NGO team making sure I am comfortable, etc.- such small things make a big difference! They’ve made me realize how beauty lies in acknowledging everything and taking note of the simple pleasures in life. They make me feel that I’m taken care of. It may be something as small as having hot water when it is 3 degrees, the bus reaching on time at 1 in the night, well behaved co-passengers, a phone call from the person you love the most after 2 days of no signal – all these things make me count my blessings.
It has taken me onto a path where I notice and thank each day for its gifts. By being thankful for every small thing I get and by meeting different people and partaking of their experiences, I realize that I’m blessed and that makes the journey worth it. Gratitude has encouraged me to pay it forward and helped me achieve the goodness in my life.