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10 awesome things we take for granted every day

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Think about it for a minute. How many sperms are released at the time of conception, and how many make it into the egg? The answer, respectively, is 250 million – and one. That means that you, in your present form, came about through beating odds of 250 million to one. It means that every last one of us here on Earth essentially won the lottery! Call it a cliche. Call it maudlin. Excuse the lecture. But it’s true. LIFE IS A MIRACLE. Now all we have to do is learn to appreciate it. Psychologist Dr. Charlane Pereira e Rebello advises everyone to enjoy the ‘here and now’, and be grateful for all the wonderful things that just might slip under the emotional radar.

So… NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED:

 

Your Senses

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Eyes to admire the red blooms, ears to listen to the melody of the humming bird, or taste buds to take in the yummy Prawn Pulao. Embrace other human beings. Even feel the annoying bite of the mozzies these monsoons. You see, dear reader, life is wondrous, and we must appreciate that we’re lucky enough to savour it as human beings rather than, say, amoebas or toads.  The blind hear better than the sighted, and the deaf see better than those with perfect hearing. You don’t need every sense to behold the beauty of nature and life. But it’s easy to forget to do it.

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Loved ones

Do remember that somewhere someone loves you. Your parents, your spouse, your siblings or bosom buddies…. You share a unique bond with them. Do you show your gratitude to them? Do you remember them on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries? It may be just another night, but you can make it special merely by whispering “I love you” to your partner of 20 long years!

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Time

Mornings are rushed for every working mother. The unwelcome ringing of the alarm clock by your bedside jolts you out of your deep slumber. You hurriedly stumble out of your bed to wake up your kids and hubby. The tiny tots rub their eyes and your hubby mutters ‘5 minutes’ at least thrice. Then you find yourself shouting at the traffic in your rush to work, only to spend the rest of the day in a race against the clock. Slow down! Take time to ponder, to love and to live. And remember, time is a gift, not to be taken for granted.

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Three meals a day

Consider yourself blessed if you enjoy 3 meals in a day and even more so if you snack in between to satisfy your rumbling tummy. According to the U.N.’s Food and Agricultural Organization, about 842 million people in the world do not eat enough to be healthy. That means that 1 in every 8 people in this world goes to bed hungry. And here in India, we happen to be living in one of the world’s capitals of malnutrition. If your food portfolio includes things like Smoked Salmon or Portobello Mushrooms or Lobster Bisque, well, then, you’re more than just lucky.

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Nature

What is it about modern humans that so many of us actually prefer the concrete jungle to the magnificent countryside? Quiz the urban school going kids about bullfrogs. Many haven’t heard the loud croaking of these endangered amphibians. Nor have they seen the tiny crawling caterpillars or the fleeting butterflies or the gushing of the Dudhsagar Falls. There is a place for Androids and Facebook and ‘Two and a Half Men.’ But if we lose complete touch with the way homo sapiens lived for tens of thousands of years before the advent of Twitter, we lose a part of ourselves.

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Having a roof over your head

Thatched hut? Well, at least you have a shelter… Tiled roof? Cemented? Consider yourself lucky! As you lie cozily in the comforts of your sofa in a nice warm home, protected from the fury of lashing rains or soaring summer temperatures or the ravages of winter, millions are homeless and sleeping under the open skies or in tents or staying in makeshift shelters. More than 100 million people around the world are homeless. So if you have a home, don’t forget to appreciate it.

Life

We know that happiness is not necessarily a function of possessions or socio-economic status. Why do some of the richest countries in the world have the highest suicide rates? Well, for one, having all your basic needs met might free up time to focus on your inner malaise. But it’s worth reflecting on why you’re still unhappy if you have a cozy home, luxurious life, a wide social circle of buddies, and achievements that are applauded by many. Enjoy every moment; accept the sad ones and celebrate the joyous ones. Life is a rainbow and acceptance is the key. Be thankful that you are alive and breathing! And give a thought to the passengers on the two Malaysian airliners or the victims of Typhoon Rammasun or the patients of AIDS and cancer. Not because you’re not one of them, but in deference to the lives they might have led.

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Parents 

Your mom and dad may be touching 80s or 90s. Respect them as you owe them not only your existence but much more. For many of us, parents have been our foundation, from a bawling baby to a mature adult, offering unconditional love, affection, wisdom and support of every kind. Some say kids don’t owe their parents much because, after all, none of us actually ASKED our parents to do the ‘nasty’ and conceive us. We didn’t file an application to be born. But please remember that life is a gift, so we must appreciate those who gave it to us (unless, of course, they don’t deserve it – but that’s another article!)

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Water

Conserve it! It is impossible to survive without this elixir of life. Our health, cooking, bathing, cleaning, etc is highly water dependent. Flora and fauna of our precious Mother Earth thrive on water resources. And while you’re at it, do what you can to preserve the land and the air, all under grave threat in this age of modernity. The first step, of course, is not to take any of it for granted.

Memory

Do you know who you are? Where you are from? Your education? Your culture? Your relations? Do you draw from your enriching life experiences? Thanks to the neurons in your brain, you are able to recollect thousands of details from your memory bank and communicate in society. Sometimes we forget to trust our brain’s most important messages, ignoring our cerebral intuition. Our brains are like computers – complicated, nuanced and entirely delightful.