Perspectives: Need Inspiration? Count Your Blessings
As we turned the page on a new year, most of us exhaled a sigh of relief for being able to put 2020 behind us and begin again with a renewed sense of hope and optimism.
Never before have I seen a year in which there was so much suffering, anxiety, animosity and enormous life changes—with no clear end in sight. Still, the blessings I personally experienced last year are immeasurable. I’ve written before about how I’m a glass-half-full kind of person and 2020 made me even more mindful to remember to count my blessings—especially in troubled times.
Last year, as I was going through my desk to move my workspace home, a sheet of paper caught my eye and I added it to my stack of papers to take home. It was something the late Don Lafferre, CAS, former owner of Priority Promotions and a 2014 PPAI Hall of Fame inductee, sent me back in 2003. I had saved it and posted it prominently above my desk.
I didn’t know Don well at all, but he was one of those people who just glowed with happiness. It was all in his attitude and the way he looked at life. That happiness rubbed off on those with whom he came into contact and they were better for knowing him. I think his secret was that, no matter how bad things were, he never forgot to be thankful for his blessings. Don died in 2016 at age 87—a life very well lived. Here, in part, is what Don sent me on that sheet of paper in 2003. I don’t know the original author or how accurate the numbers are now, but I hope these words make a difference to you today.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of those in this world.
If you have money in the bank and in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top eight percent of the world’s most wealthy people.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive the next week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world who suffer.
If you can attend a worship service without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world who cannot.
If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two million people who cannot read at all.
What would be on your list of the Seven Wonders of the World? When an elementary school student was asked this, she was stumped and then she said, “To touch, to taste, to see, to hear, to feel, to laugh and to love.”
Count your blessings, be happy and remember to pass it on.
Tina Berres Filipski is editor of PPB.