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Today I am grateful for the ability to read, write, and learn. Think about some people on the planet that are illiterate or have suffered from a traumatic brain injury or a learning disability that precludes them from learning the same way you and I learn. My wife is a special education teacher, and she works with these kids every day.

I am grateful for my interest in learning new things. I truly enjoy learning something I didn’t know yesterday. I enjoy taking a trip with an author and walking through the mental libraries they have created in their books. “Look here”, they say. “Look there. This is really important.” I am also grateful for the free repositories of books online and my local library. So many books to read and so little time.

Online learning is also a terrific thing. Think about it. You can learn a great deal by reading other people’s blogs, reading books, and attending classes and webinars, most of which are absolutely free. Why learn you ask? It adds to you. It provides you with skills that you can continue to earn a living with. It gives you a wide berth of experiences through other’s eyes that you may not have the ability to do on your own.

I recently read a book about finding out what you love to do. Think about how many people are in jobs they hate. Can you imagine going to a job that stressed you out and made you unhappy? We all have to make a living one way or another. People who are trapped in a job they hate is a really bad place to be in. Yet, many do not take advantage of the learning opportunities that are available to them. I am grateful that I am not one of these people.

I am always looking to improve. I want to improve my physical body; I want to improve my spiritual practice; I want to improve my skill set, and I want to build my knowledge. I am grateful I have that drive to do these things, day in and day out. Recently, I started listening to albums on Spotify, starting with various jazz artists. I also enjoy the classics, but wanted to start with Jazz. I listened to albums by Miles Davis and Bill Brubeck. Wow! What a treat. I am going to listen to Dizzy Gillespie next. It will be a nice treat. When I listen I put in my earphones, close my eyes, and picture myself in some speakeasy, listening and watching the band and the people there. It is terrific how music takes you places when it is really good.

I hope each of you can find things in your lives you are grateful for. It is a great feeling to sit back and think about all the things that contribute to your life and how nice it is to have them. Gratitude for God, for family, for your life, with all of its difficulties, and the rich experiences each of our lives contain, if we only look and appreciate them. Life is too short to be pissed off or afraid all the time. Take some time each day to express your gratitude for even the smallest thing. It will change the way you engage with the world and interestingly, when you have cultivated the gratitude habit, the world will give you more things to be grateful for.

Life is grand.

Until next time…

Dave

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