February 12, 2019 · 2 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

Last night I dreamed that I was a refugee trying to get away from a war zone, sometime long ago. I was helping a young woman who just had a baby. Although that made it much harder both to travel and to hide from the soldiers, it seemed the decent thing to do. Our dinner was rat and weeds soup. Rather than thinking about how yucky that was, though, I felt lucky that I had found an old pot to cook it over a fire.

Old pot hanging on a hook.

(Creative Commons image via flickr)

After I woke up, that dream certainly had put all of my trifling modern-day gripes into better perspective. People typically judge their circumstances by comparison to what they see around them, which is why surveys asking about happiness levels generally tend not to show any increase as populations become wealthier. We don’t often compare our lives to what’s in the history books.

Indeed, unless we regularly work to cultivate the habit, we don’t often reflect on our own personal history and all the ways we are doing better than in the past. Small annoyances get our attention instead. Given the fact that we have so many comforts in the here and now, we shouldn’t take them so much for granted.

2 Comments

  1. You always have interesting dreams. Most people are always completing and ungrateful with everything they have. Practicing gratitude daily is a way to overcome this habit.

    • Thanks Elizabeth — today I have another opportunity to practice gratitude because my neighborhood has no water, and the county water department doesn’t yet know when it will be restored. Can’t even flush the toilets; but at least, that is better than not having toilets.

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