There are two very important actions that are easier said than done. One is showing true gratitude. The other is being humble.
Although the two are distinctly different actions, both are the measure of a lifelong learner. Both require you to take on the perspectives of others, being understanding, and approaching the unknown with an open mind. It’s about being grounded, embracing change, and diving headfirst into difficult situations, even if it means straying into uncharted territory.
Of late, I’ve found it increasingly important to make lists of victories and losses and reflect on them in order to ascertain how I can be more grateful (or more humble) in different situations. It’s only natural as our life progresses that we accumulate new experiences, experiences that mold us into the person we grow to be. The growth is lifelong, and the journey never ends.
With those new experiences come the strongest emotions: hope and heartbreak. Resilience and restlessness. Love and loss.
No two people have the same set of things they are thankful for or need to be more humble for. Every person has their own set of core values, different priorities, and varying strengths and weaknesses. The importance doesn’t lie in our differences, it lies in how we approach and shape our own individuality.
Mine would go a little something like this:
Thank you to all the people who taught me that life is about remembering to live in the moment. Life is about taking risks despite the stereotypes and despite other people’s opinions of you. Thank you to the people who taught me that life is too precious for toxic relationships and friendships. It was good while it lasted, but thank you for showing me that I’m worth so much more than that. I’m worth more than hurtful words, second thoughts, or being an option. Life is too short to stay quiet, so be open and make your voice heard.
To the ones I hurt or did wrong, I’m sorry for all the times when I should’ve stood up and said something. I’m sorry for falling short or letting you down when you needed it. I’m sorry for being defensive when I was too scared to admit that I was the one in the wrong. I hope one day we can sit down and talk about it. If not, I hope you know that you taught me so many priceless lessons and so much truth with your words and your actions.
We’re all human, we’re all capable of doing both right and wrong, but it’s how we derive meaning from our actions that defines our lives. That is what ultimately gives us the power to apologize, but to also say “thank you.”