As we experience the Holy Month of Ramadan, I am reminded of the prayers I said, decades ago. As kids, during the school assemblies, our teachers would ask us to close our eyes and say a little prayer. Express your gratitude towards anything that makes today wonderful, we were told. We would mutter a prayer. I recall feeling grateful for the cloudy day, the yummy sandwich in the lunch box, and a play date with a best friend. We were allowed to keep our prayers a secret too. When I reached college and later university, I felt fortunate for an easy test paper, pocket money, movie nights, and opportunities to select subjects I wished to major in. The words of the teacher continued to ring in my heads, and it became a routine to look at life with the ‘glass is half full’ attitude.
Looking back, I realise how over the years I began to express gratitude towards different things — lesser traffic on the road, a promotion at work or a relaxed weekend. As my friends would say, our priorities and expectations were changing. Hence, somewhere in between we also began to ask more, cherish less.
I wonder, when did we begin to measure blessings? I know not.
Blessings come in tiny and big ways in our lives. Sometimes, they’re tough to identify too, which is what makes this period of fasting, observance, giving, and praying a perfect time to look closer and cherish them.
For, our daily lives are bestowed with blessings. They come to us in the way we greet an elderly and the bottle of water that we offer to a labourer working in the harsh sun. It appears in the way the room lights up when friends and family gather to share a meal, cooked together and boasts everyone’s favourites. It lies in the smile you exchange with a stranger on a Metro ride. It lies in the hug that you engulf your child in, after a long day at work. It also lies in the lessons of life and love, culture and customs, and rituals and reverence that you pass on to the younger generations. It lies in the charities you contribute too. It appears in the sunrises, you greet and the sunsets, you watch. It lies in every waking moment spent in chasing a dream, and in every dream that visits you while you sleep.
This Ramadan, why not just look around and count the blessings, especially the ones hidden in our mundane lives. Take a moment, express gratitude. Here’s wishing everyone a season of bliss.