Gratitude for Personal Safety

thank you text on black and brown board
Photo by on

Have you ever hurt yourself and immediately said a swear word?

*raises hand, looks around and sees everyone else looking at their feet*

Oh. Well, some people respond to self-injury with loud profanity. I learned it at an early age. It was quite common on the construction sites that I grew up working on. So common, that I don’t remember everyone I heard engage in such behavior, but I do remember James, who didn’t swear whenever he hurt himself. He had a very different approach. I remember clearly the first time he stunned me with his response. He had brought a load of rock where we were working, and when he dumped the wheelbarrow out, one of the rocks rolled off of the pile and onto his foot. A quickly moving rock, probably about 15 lbs. It hit his foot and he shouted, “Thank you Jesus!” I remember asking him if he thought Jesus dropped the rock on his foot, and he told me, “No. No way. I say ‘thank you Jesus’ because in a while, Jesus is going to take the pain away, and when I’m not hurting, I might forget to say thank you.” I never saw him respond to pain any other way.

Just one of the many problems with the prevalent attitude of entitlement is that there seems to be no holding back when it comes to making demands. This is tricky for the person making the demands, even if they do not see it as such. Entitlement is not possible in a person of gratitude. A person who feels entitled feels that more is owed to him or her. A person of gratitude is thankful for what they have. If you are thankful for what you have, do you think you are more or less likely to end up getting punched in the mouth over your attitude?

Some people have less material wealth, some people have more. But I can guarantee you this, somewhere in this world there is someone who has less than you but is happier. The difference is in the level of gratitude. No one has a perfect life. But if one can develop a good level of thankfulness for what they have, they can find peace and happiness. Finding this happiness allows for a better attitude in your approach to every interaction. The better attitude means less friction, less friction means peace. And peace makes the world around you better.