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Vishal Ostwal

I Write About Life

10 Things We Should Stop Taking for Granted in Life

“As I’m growing up, I want to make one thing clear to myself – I want to take nothing for granted and wish to appreciate all that I’m blessed with.”

Though, what I’ve realized over the past few years is that I’ve knowingly or unknowingly taken a lot for granted.

I haven’t appreciated life enough – and it sort of hurts me when I look back. Even when I was going through certain ups and downs (like everyone does), I feel I shouldn’t have turned a blind eye to what made me feel alright.

Life’s good.

I want to say those words again and again to myself. Man, even when we knock against the rock bottom, there remains a handful of sparkle that can make us smile. Holding on to that makes sense.

So, what are some things that most of us take for granted but probably shouldn’t? Well, today I felt like sharing a couple of them, so here’s a list.

Here’s a list of things we should stop taking for granted in life

1. Family

We act like our family is going to live forever. We’ve taught ourselves that we’re entitled to their love, right?

I’ve seen orphans. I’ve seen people regret not spending time together. They’re filled with grief after funerals. Life passes in a blink – and you keep staring at the old photos.

Time slips and it never comes back.

Therefore, talk, be there, and be aware of the fact that you’ve got almost everything you can wish for when you’ve got your family by your side.

2. Health

It’s not an issue unless you lie lifelessly in your bed.

The difference between being healthy and ill is stark. One day you’re partying, and a few years later you’re not the same person anymore.

It’s heart-breaking, yet true. Any kind of illness takes a toll after which you can only wonder what it like was to live carelessly like a child.

Diabetics inject themselves with insulin. Obesity befriends a couple of other diseases. You need to swallow pills to maintain your blood pressure. It’s no fun.

Still, we act like we’re immortal, instead of admitting that we’re made of flesh and bones and need to exercise and meditate more.

Personally, I’ve failed at being conscious about my health multiple times and yet I’m trying again and again.

3. Time

It won’t last forever, this life.

There’ll be enough time to work on ideas in the future. We’ll be happier one day. Something magical will happen. Is all of that true? No, but we like to make ourselves believe so.

Clock ticks, time flies, we grow up – and none of this happens suddenly. You witness it happen each day and still it’s surprising.

That’s because we don’t truly realize that time is a great resource. Everything we wish to complete doesn’t require much time – rather, it’s about sorting priorities and taking small steps each day.

4. Kindness

It’s foolish to be a person who uses others for personal gains because, in the end, it harms you. No kidding.

Whether it be office politics, your personal hypocrisy or anything that you can possibly come up with – avoid it.

Now, I’m not saying that we’re demons. All people have good intentions, most of us. Yet, be kind to those who are fair to you (and even to those who aren’t).

It’s tough to save a dying belief like ‘world’s a good place.’ However, if you contribute to the betterment of the world and somehow restor that belief, you’re playing your part well. Let’s stop taking goodness for granted.

5. Natural resources and climate

Nowadays, everything is available so easily to us that we don’t think twice before wasting something. But that doesn’t stop the environment from getting worse.

  • The tap gives you running water
  • You buy groceries from the store
  • The electricity is available in plenty

Where do you think all of this comes from? Not magic, probably.

Sure, you can blame the government if something goes wrong, or even pay more than often, but the truth is that earth is dying because we’ve been exploiting it since our existence.

Your plastic bag will stay there. The air conditioned room can’t be your permanent home. Let’s admit that we’ve taken this planet for granted and have failed it miserably.

It’s time we fix it.

Finally, be thankful if you’re living in a place that’s safe from earthquakes, tornados, or wildfires.

6. Little stuff

A cool breeze of air. A pleasant song. A pet’s lick. All this seems ordinary – but once you put these beautiful things together, they seem like the only reason we’re living for.

While we get busy aspiring to do something big, we miss out what really gives life its meaning.

Everything’s interesting when we’re kids, but as we grow up, we respond with a ‘meh face’ even to the most wonderful things.

We get used to our blessings and stop appreciating them. That seems ungrateful. It’s necessary to keep that childlike curiosity and enthusiasm alive as we grow up. Otherwise, life loses its charm.

7. Basics

You’ve got healthy food, clean clothes, and a shelter to live in – even a digital device that you’re reading on right now.

Nothing extraordinary, in a way, but think of how essential it is. At least, you weren’t born in a family that couldn’t have made a day’s meal for you without toiling all day.

Count all that you already have and you’d be surprised. You’d discover all that you’ve been granted with … but didn’t pay attention to.

8. Freedom

Most of us are living in a better state than many.

  • I’m born in a democratic country
  • I wasn’t a victim of child labor
  • I completed my education as per my will

Not that I want to look down on certain people. Though, I feel we don’t recognize how lucky we are to be born in an environmentally safer or economically stronger place.

I need to think of the welfare of the community, contribute to its betterment, and work for goals which are bigger than my personal motive – because freedom brings some responsibilities along with it.

Malcolm Gladwell explained it really well in Outliers. We might be having a good life, not because we deserved it, but simply because we got lucky.

9. Convenience

Life was hard once and we had irksome chores to deal with. Now it’s easier.

Yet, you might cringe about Amazon not delivering your product the next day, Domino’s being late, or the Uber driver forgetting his route.

Can’t we simply admit that we’ve got enough? Hopefully, it’s getting better and we need to appreciate what we already have.

10. Being

When did life itself become undervalued?

Although we might not realize this, being a part of this universe and breathing each day is so darn beautiful. I love the way Bruce Miller explains it here.

The more I discover about life, the more curious I grow. I’m charmed by its magnificence. There are days when I can even get excited at the sight of grass or stars.

“It’s enough,” I whisper to myself.

What more can I ask for? This might sound like a philosophical pudding, but it’s not. It’s a truth; being alive is a blessing.

The next step?

Appreciate more, complain less, and seek enough to feel alive. I’m starting with noticing my surroundings and counting what matters to me.

You can start with what matters to you. I hope we all collect a handful of reasons to be happy about.

Comments

Antonysamy says:

A great post on life’s essential.I enjoy reading all the ten points.Very much insightful.

Thank you, Antonysamy. I’m glad that you liked the post. Welcome to the blog.

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