This past week-end we took an Uber to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Maxwell, our driver, was an African immigrant from a small village in Nigeria who had been in the United States just a few years. His Honda was immaculate both inside and out and he described with pride how he worked hard to keep his car clean and sweet smelling. This guy was a talkative, super friendly fellow with a huge smile and easy manner and he simply couldn’t contain his gratitude about living in the USA.
“This place is heaven!” He exclaimed as he dodged the city’s pot holes, “I know it’s not perfect, but you can be whatever you want here! You can be a success! You can do anything you want! Look at these tall buildings, they are so beautiful! Sometimes I think Americans don’t know how lucky they are to live here!”
Arriving at our destination, I thanked Maxwell for reminding us.
Not five minutes later, as my husband and I made our way along the waterfront, we approached a loud group of about 6 men huddled together in front of a restaurant. By now, the sun had gone down, the wind had picked up and it was downright freezing. The guy yelling into the bullhorn was railing against ‘injustice’ and proceeded to make some rude, cutting comments just as a group of us walked by.
I couldn’t help but think about Maxwell in his warm, polished car who by now was probably well on his way to picking up his next passengers.
totally different vision.
Gratitude truly is the foundation for happiness and the irreplaceable building block for success. Gratitude changes how you see yourself, your circumstances and yourself IN your circumstance.
Without gratitude there is only misery, anger and envy.
One more reason to love, and live, Thanksgiving.