The Newton Tragedy, Mindfulness, and Gratitude

monkey on the shoulderThis morning I was listening to the radio and the morning duo who were talking about the Newton tragedy. They had started a Facebook conversation with listeners  about how we could find some good in the midst of such tragedy.

Someone had written in about how tragic events  can remind us of what we have to feel grateful for…but can easily take for granted.

Their comment reminded me of an experience I had  recently about practicing mindfulness and gratitude.

That experience  illustrated  how events which  remind us that “tomorrow is promised to no one” can rekindle our ability to appreciate the people, pets, and particulars in our lives.

More specifically, the two little kittens I’ve been foster parenting—and fallen in love with—were recently adopted.

I was lucky in that:

1) I met the person who adopted them and it was clear they were going to a home where they would be loved.

2) They were going home together.

3) After Anne, the new parent, decided she wanted the two “little monkeys” she asked if I could keep them 3 more weeks. I of course was thrilled to do so.

As the days ticked on, I found myself thinking how I had been afforded the luxury of knowing how much time I had left with these two tiny, lovable characters, and this knowing made me more mindful than usual to savor each moment with them.

I found myself thinking about how in most of life, we don’t know how much time we have with someone or a particular situation that fills us with happiness, and how, because of that, we take them for granted.

We don’t pay attention.

We don’t drink up and savor the gift they are to us.

And we miss out, as do they.

So…perhaps we can make some good come out of this loss—and any loss—by letting it remind us to practice being present for the precious people, pets, and particulars in our lives, and to feel gratitude for them.

So what about you?

As you think about your life in this moment…what do you feel most grateful for?

Who is in your life that you feel most thankful for?

Perhaps you might even want to let them know.


For another article about mindfulness and gratitude, see “If Tomorrow Never Comes…”


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Comments (2)

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  1. Janneane Connelly says:

    David, over that 12 months i have consistently been working on changing the culture within mu work place, our newsletter has a section that has been committed to staff health and wellness we shared lots of strategies for happiness in the work place and mindfulness . Our most recent was on creating a culture of gratitude at work. As i was writing this some thing became very clear these were strategies not just for work. At home with my family we started sharing 5 things that we were grateful for in our day over the dinner table this has replaced the “whinging about the day”it has been amazing creating a great space for us to share as a family.

  2. DavidLee says:

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing Janneane. I hope others follow your modeling.

    Also…always good to hear from an awesome Aussie :-) I love the playfulness so prevalent in your culture.

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