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Is Gratitude Practical?

‘Enough’ is a feast – a Buddhist proverb

In 1983, in Florida, a young man was sentenced to imprisonment for

rape and murder of a woman. He stayed in jail for 37 years, all the

while appealing his innocence and never giving up. Finally, last week,

the court declared Robert DuBoise was indeed innocent and ordered his

release. The court also said they had wronged him all these years and

finally cleared him of all his convictions. Mr DuBoise said in an

interview that he always knew this day would come- his innocence would

be proved! Besides, he held no grudges and expressed gratitude for

getting this new life.

The news astounded me for various reasons- but most importantly for

the grace this man exhibited. We all face injustice and pain, but

compare it with the magnitude of Robert’s plight. And for over three

and half decades he was deprived of his basic human right of freedom.

Yet, I now reckon he was free- even in a jail, for he used his choices

well. When Helen Keller, the legendary deaf and blind author, was

asked if she had regrets in life, she said so much has been given to

her that she has no time to ponder over that which has been denied.

Ironically we are free citizens in a democratic country, yet we may be

imprisoned by the shackles of our own minds. We might cry, fret, fume

and complain about many petty shortcomings. The mind relentlessly

cribs about practically everything. This man has humbled us!

We all have some gifts given by nature. But it’s only a thankful heart

that considers what we have as enough! Gratitude is a choice we all

have. If I can begin each day with a sincere thanks for the gifts I

have been blessed with, I am sure one day I can please God with my

attitude.

I know it’s difficult to be grateful for everything in life, but

certainly we can be grateful every moment. And here was a man who was

also willing to move beyond a serious failure by the law enforcing

agencies. He is teaching us that we can practice gratitude always.

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