Friday, December 30, 2011

We Live Like Kings

Gratitude is a topic that I've brought up numerous times on this blog. It's so important a topic I'd like to end this year and start the new year with it.

Gratitude allows one to take a difficult situation and reframe it into something more positive. I aspire to live my life each day with as much gratitude as possible. Like anyone I'm not always successful at focusing on what I have rather than on what I have not. I share this challenge with most of my mentees at one time or another.

So what do I tell them and tell myself?

I remind myself and tell them that in many ways we live like kings! In fact in some ways we live better than kings!

If you go back far enough and think about the wealthiest and most powerful royalty of centuries ago did they have:

  • hot running water instantly available? Likely not.
  • delicious foods from around the world easily accessible? Nope.
  • the ability at all times to instantly communicate with family & friends? Hardly.
  • the power to travel great distances in a matter of hours? Never.

And here we are with plumbing, supermarkets, cell phones, airplanes, etc. Our standard of living is stunningly higher than the richest and most powerful of years past. For some reason this concept amazes me.

My favorite related story is that of King George I and Handel's "Water Music":
The Water Music is a collection of orchestral movements, often considered three suites, composed by George Frideric Handel. It premiered on 17 July 1717 after King George I had requested a concert on the River Thames. The concert was performed by 50 musicians playing on a barge near the royal barge from which the King listened with close friends...George I was said to have enjoyed the suites so much that he made the exhausted musicians play them three times over the course of the outing. [from wikipedia]
If the King wanted to enjoy a piece of music more than once he had to force the musicians play it again. We can just put a song track on our MP3 player on repeat and enjoy that music experience endlessly.

For all this advancement I remind myself (and others) to be grateful. We live in a wondrous world full of everyday miracles.

In this spirit I wanted to take a moment and show my gratitude to you, Dear Readers, for visiting my blog, 'liking' my postings on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. and sending me encouraging comments and questions. Each visit and each 'like' I receive inspires me to keep writing. I am truly grateful for all of that! Thank you.

May 2012 be a year of peace, joy, prosperity, health and fun for you and your loved ones! 

Happy New Year!


Ray K said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you on all but one point - air travel.

No king would have to arrive two hours plus early to his carriage, get stripped searched, then sit in a crowded room being told every 30minutes that his carriage is delayed another hour. Finally when being allowed to board his carriage would he be told that he's not allowed to take his carry-on because there isn't room in the carriage for it? Or would he be limited to a small bag of peanuts and a half a can of coke? Or told to pay $5 if he wants the rest of the can?

Air travel is no longer living like a king. More like riding steerage on the Titanic. ;)

Happy New Year!

OnMentoring said...

Hi Ray,

Ha ha. That was funny.

Fair points all around!

Happy new year to you too!