Have you ever had a moment where seemingly nothing happened, and yet you learned a whole lot about yourself through that "nothing"? Well, I recently had one of those moments- a moment where a dead chicken taught me about gratitude.
A few weeks ago, I was pulling the remaining meat off of a rotisserie chicken so that I could use it in a pasta dish I was cooking. I crinkled my nose and started working on the task before me. Even though I am a complete carnivore, I hate pulling meat off the bones. It's gross, ya know? Because #imaweenie.
As I was finishing up, I noticed that there was actually more meat that I could get off. I paused, considering salvaging the rest of the chicken, but in true weenie fashion, I decided to just throw away the carcass and leave the rest of the meat untouched.
"This is gross. It doesn't realllllly matter if I throw this away. It won't hurt anyone", I thought.
But then another thought threw itself in front of the previous one:
There are children and families in the world- in this country- that would gladly salvage every single bit of meat they could find. They wouldn't be grossing out. They'd be tearing that sucker apart, estatic to find meat on parts of the chicken that I would have already thrown away. They would be grateful.
This thought really hit hard. The fact that I take so much for granted- the last few bites of potato on my plate, that half-consumed water bottle in the cupholder of my car- things that I would throw away are things that others would be thankful for. Things that I don't mind wasting, others would be joyful to get their hands on!
The Chicken is Not the PointThe fact of the matter is, it's not wrong to throw out a chicken carcass with some meat on it (though it'd be better to use as much as possible). The moral of this story has nothing to do with wasting food or throwing away a water bottle (another time, folks). Rather, the point is that you and I have so much to be grateful for, and yet we so often don't even recognize that we are blessed. We skip the gratitude, and go straight to spoiled-indulgence.
Think about it. How many outfits are in your closet (and mine) that you never, ever wear. Meanwhile, there are multitudes of people who are freezing in the streets in the colder months. They would be thrilled to have those outfits, but instead of donating those clothes, we leave them sitting in our closet because "we might wear them one day".
We have far more than we need, and instead of living in gratitude and giving to others who have less, we just keep buying more. Our inboxes are full of advertisements that tempt us and our bank accounts and credit card statements are proof that we like to shop- like to consume.
It's fine to buy a new shirt, some new makeup, or something you've had your eye on at Michael's. I'm not here to give anyone a guilt trip about that. But I am here to say that we have so much that we take for granted and that needs to change.
We need to look for ways we are being ungrateful and correct those actions. We need to find ways to give to those who don't have. And we need to live a life of gratitude.
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