Can We Have An Attitude of Gratitude, In the Middle of Everything?

And by “everything” I mean the ups and downs of life, as well as devastating environmental disasters like the current BP/Deepwater Oil Disaster in the Gulf, and the everyday, ongoing degradation of our planet for future generations in the name of the economy and our addiction to fossil fuels.  In particular, many of us are paralyzed by a sense that climate change is happening in front of our eyes – weird weather, arctic ice caps melting, etc. – and we feel there’s little we can do about it. This sensation can be traced in large part to elected officials, at least in Canada and the U.S., who have shown very little leadership, especially at the federal level.

It is possible that many of us, either now and again or most of the time, feel like we are stumbling around in the dark, handicapped by a sense of hopelessness and futility, wanting a better world but not daring to hope or imagine that it could actually become a reality.

Nick Vujicic has something to say about how to deal with the difficulties that life throws our way. He has had more obstacles to overcome that most of us can imagine. As his website, Attitude is Altitude, says:

Imagine being born without arms. No arms to wrap around someone, no hands to experience touch, or to hold another hand with. Or what about being born without legs? Having no ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand on two feet. Now put both of those scenarios together –  no arms and no legs. What would you do? How would that affect your everyday life?

I challenge you to watch this video, and then consider whether or not we can overcome the obstacles in our own paths, and in the path of a healthier, brighter future for our children and our planet.  Thank you, Nick, for reminding me what can be accomplished when we don’t give up at the sight of the first, or second, or even one hundredth, challenge in front of us.


Click here to go to Nick’s website.

Click here to read Colin Beavan’s recent post on No Impact Man, where he invites people to share their daily gratitude list on Twitter at #GratitudeList.  It turns out that  making a regular gratitude list is one of the things that can increase our baseline happiness, according to the people who study these things.  And buying more stuff does not.

Today, I’m grateful for the sunshine pouring in my window this morning, for my steaming cup of tea with a slice of lemon (the best way to start my day), and for my family. I’m also very grateful Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty seems to be taking the issue of climate change seriously, and is addressing it with the provincial Green Plan.

What’s on your gratitude list today?

0 thoughts on “Can We Have An Attitude of Gratitude, In the Middle of Everything?”

  1. While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

    Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

    There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.

  2. You and me and a lot of other people, Destructionist! Thanks for the links. Maybe we will wake up to our need to wean ourselves off of this terrible fossil fuel addiction we’ve developed over the last 200 years.


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