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Some years ago, I visited my bhabi in Delhi. They were staying in a complex full of multi-storey buildings. Very often during the day, she would suddenly say, “Shukar- Shukar.” I found it very odd as nothing special had happened then why the gratitude?

They were on the 10th floor and every room had big windows. When I asked her about it she responded, “Everyone says we should be grateful for whatever we have, but in the hustle and bustle of life we forget gratitude. I have kept a gratitude diary, notes on the phone, but after a few days everything tapers off. So I decided every time I see birds anywhere, I will say shukar — thanks. Initially, I found it difficult but now I am doing it so often and it makes me much happier.”

Because of the big windows, she saw birds very often so she would say shukar. That was her novel way of practising gratitude. My friend liked it so much that every time she sees a flower she says shukar. By association, she has learnt gratitude.

Every time I see a butterfly, I feel God is near me. So often when I am in a low mood or just feeling lonely, I see a butterfly on my balcony, and we stay on a much higher level where generally butterflies are not found. Yesterday, when I was entering the elevator, there was a butterfly sitting near it. I was shocked. I had been feeling very low. Immediately I felt happy- God is near me.

When my son was COVID positive I was so scared. Every day for 10 days, I used to see a butterfly on the balcony. It was so reassuring. I think this is an excellent option for people who find it difficult to practice gratitude in life on a regular basis. Just a beautiful way to do gratitude — so I wanted to share. Maybe it can help someone else too. 

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Manjit

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