an excerpt from my journal on gratitude

Sometime last week I was at an informal dinner gathering with some fellow students from my uni, and the girl from Kyrgyzstan was explaining how in her country it is lucky to get the last bit of wine in a bottle. Since I had that lucky bit in my glass, then, I was to make a wish.

Without putting much thought to it, I said, "Oh- I hate it when I have to make wishes, because I can never come up with anything I want that I don't already have." Cue incredulous laughter with comments of "wow, that's cool" and a generally unsure reaction around the table.

Thinking about it later, it occurred to me that that's not a sort of comment you hear very often - even though you really should. But it's true - everything I want that I don't have basically amounts to random things that I know will not actually contribute to my real happiness in any tangible way, besides which it seems utterly silly to use a wish on something like "I wish I could just find the perfect pair of summer sandals I have in my mind".

I find this inconceivably insane - my life transpires in a context where everybody has so much - and yet everyone always wants so much more. How rich you believe yourself to be is only relative to how much you wish to have - and I'm as rich as I ever really wish to be, because I have everything I need and an already-uncountable number of things I want. Sure, I'd like a my picnic blanket to be a magic flying carpet, perfect concentration, and maybe leftovers from my mother's cooking to magically appear in my fridge, but hey - too perfect is no fun either.

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