Gratitude

We can’t be there until we get there!

1.We are born self-centered in order to survive. Helpless! How long does it take to become non-self-centered?

2.We are born greedy and impatient in order to survive: strong survival instinct! How long does it take to become non-greedy and become patient?

3.We are born fearful of all changes: (grammar school: we think we know nothing! How long does it take to realize that we have nothing to fear?

4.We begin to believe we know all we need to know and older people are dumb as dirt! (Middle school: another strong survival instinct so we can prepare to leave the nest and become strong and productive!) Even though we are still secretly fearful!

5.We begin to believe we are immortal and cannot die! (High school: car accidents, bikes, drugs, etc.)…”don’t worry mom, pop!” Even though we are still secretly fearful!

6.We begin to believe that we can become free from family control and independent! (Trade or college time) “I’m grown up now! See me make my own decisions!” Even though we are still secretly fearful!

7.We begin a family and begin to believe we will be better parents than our own parents were!(After College) we believe that we actually know how to be a parent just because we are one and that our decisions are the best ones. Even though we are still secretly fearful of how our children will turn out!

8.We begin to complain daily that our lives are not what we expected them to be! (Parenthood, job security, finances, endless activities, fatigue, etc.) Even though we are still secretly fearful of how all our lives will turn out! We might even be taking care of our grandchildren part or full time!

9.We begin to complain about our retirement portfolio or lack thereof! (Grandparenthood) worrying about the grandkids, worrying about our kids, worrying whether we will be a burden on our children and whether, even, if our children will be able to take care of us!) Even though we are still secretly fearful of how we will age and when we will die.

10.We begin to care for our own parents now that they are unable to take care of themselves! Maybe we are still working. Maybe we are still supporting our children. Maybe we are in poor health, ourselves.
Somethings in us have changed when we reach that stage of life, however:

11.Somewhere along the way we became non-self-centered.

12.Somewhere along the way we became non-greedy.

13.Somewhere along the way we became patient.

14.Somewhere along the way we began to understand that life is a circle

15.Somewhere along the way we forgot to be full of fear and we became courageous!

16.Somewhere along the way we became grateful for having been born, for having lived, and for having somehow made a difference in our own small, but infinitely important and necessary, way. Imperfect though we are, we did what needed to be done when it needed to be done.

All fear is gone: Gratitude takes its place!

NAMO AMIDA BUTSU
NAMO AMIDA BUTSU
NAMO AMIDA BUTSU