You are healthier when you are thankful. Your serotonin increases, creating healing in your body. While your cortisol decreases, lowering your blood pressure and disease. Thankfulness is a healer! Sometimes we focus on issues that are overwhelming to us instead of the many things that are going well. As a result, we fail to consider the blessings that should make us thankful.
As a missionary for over nineteen years, I have found that the people who have the least are the most thankful for what they have and are most likely to be the givers because they understand the depth of need. They appreciate the value of what they have and do not have. I believe when you've experienced lack, you learn to appreciate and be thankful for everything. Many of us have much to be thankful for, but it can be hard to tap into Thankfulness when abundance is your dominant experience. If Thankfulness becomes hard for you to embrace, here are some facts to consider.
• According to the WHO (World Health Organization), over two billion people drink contaminated water. Most of us have clean drinking water and water to bathe with, available at a turn of a knob.
• Did you know that most people of the world live in poverty? According to Our World in Data, 85% of the world lives on less than $30.00 a day, 2/3 live on less than $10.00 a day, and every tenth person lives on less than $1.90 daily. One billion people live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 per day). Most of the world's daily wage for basic needs equals what we spend on tips for our nonessential wants.
• According to World Bank/WHO (World Health Organization), half of the world's population goes without access to basic or essential health services. Aren't you thankful that we live in a country where whether you have insurance or not, we have access to 911, and a team of medical professionals will come and save your life?
• 60 million children of primary age are not in school. According to UNESCO estimates, 129 million girls worldwide are out of school, including 32 million of primary school age and 97 million of secondary school age. Education is the foundation for any society to sustain and grow. All children should have access to equitable education, including our girls. I'm thankful that education is accessible and free, aren't you?
Most of us have clean water, clean air to breathe, and food for our families. We have homes that keep us safe and schools for our children, both boys and girls. Healthcare is available, and we have the freedom to pray to whomever we desire. Clean clothes on our backs and cash in our pockets. Most of those reading this Inspiring issue are blessed beyond measure with opportunities and options. We are indeed blessed, even if those choices are what ice cream to buy or what shoes to put on. That said, I find those of us with the most find Thankfulness the hardest to express. So I encourage you today to hug those you love because you have love in your life. Eat slowly and enjoy your food; so many are hungry. Don't waste anything; your time, your food, your energy, or your thoughts on negativity. Look at all the reasons to see gratitude in your life and be thankful.