Gratitude, by Ken Smith

January 11, 2007 |

They say that the greatest regrets people have at the end of their lives are not what they did, but what they didn't do, especially when you have another chance (James).

That might be true for those who are 'they.' My experience is lamenting what I did do. I could also lament what I did not do. I suppose a psychologist, psychiatrist and mental health worker would say I am guilt-ridden and over-taken by sorrow.

To the point of the discussion, however, I can attest to the value of gratitude. Mrs. Smith smiles a hundred times a day, and most of those smiles are in our conversations, in our togetherness. I've witnessed her in social circumstances among other people and observed the frequent smiles there too.

Mrs. Smith, my spouse of 36 years, begins every day with a meditation period, part of which is to write down 100 things she is grateful for. She says I am at the top of the list every day.

According to Mark, her smiles are in part a result of her daily practice of listing what she is grateful for. This is worth a try for anyone who wishes for a better experience of life.

I don't do the morning list but I do it mentally, and silently express gratitude whenever I embrace Mrs. Smith. This practice saves my life perhaps.

You could say I am dependent on the smiles Mrs. Smith brightens the world with. In that way I am sort of a co-dependent. I used to think co-dependency was for people who were not able to be independent. I think the pop-psychology that brought on the tarnish to dependency in relationships is a symptom of deterioration in all societal interchange of this era.

I am actually grateful for my co-dependency. And as Michael Savage said in one of his books, "I am grateful for my parents' co-dependency, because that gave me a stable childhood." (Maybe not an exact quote, see his books for clarification)

For list members, please know I am grateful to be here among those who share many of my interests; interests that have kept me sane through many years of troubling circumstances.


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