The Gratitude Challenge

There’s a new exercise currently making its way around Facebook. It’s called the “Grateful Challenge”. Someone challenges you to list 5 things for which you are grateful and (you must do it for 5 consecutive days) you challenge 2 others each day. It’s a challenge created to help people take note of the brighter side of life.

When I was young, I took some things for granted. After all, I was young and I didn’t know what life could be on the other side. Then slowly as I grew up, I began to appreciate things around me more. As I saw more and more of the world out there, I realized all the things I’d been given aren’t rights, but privileges.

Rather than dwelling on what is missing, I began looking at what I have. This isn’t just about material items…but about people, experiences, or anything else I have present in my life. After all, when one focuses on the abundance they already have, the negative feelings that come from lacking something else gradually fade from their conscious. Recognizing these simple luxuries one already has in their life on a daily basis can take them from a mindset of wishing they had more, to a mindset of joyful appreciation. And I’ve come to realize that the truth is, I am doing better than a lot of people in this world.

So, for the next 5 days, i will spend a few minutes (each day) counting all of life’s little blessings.


# DAY 1

I am so grateful for my Godmother. She is my guardian angel. She loves me and I am precious to her. She does everything she can for me. When I think of her unconditional love for me, my heart fills with joy. Without her there were many occasions I would have missed, things I could not have achieved and I don’t think I would have grown into the person I am without her influence. She will always be my godmother, beyond words, beyond time and beyond distance.

I am grateful for food. When I was young, I took food for granted. I always saw food being put on the table, every day. I never went to sleep hungry at night. Little did I know that some people didn’t have what to eat. As I grew up, I started to appreciate the fact that I can grab something to eat anytime I’m hungry. A lot of work goes into making food available to me. I am grateful for that. On a special note, I am forever thankful for meat which satisfies the carnivore in me. thankful for farmers who work so hard to properly raise the meat we eat. I am more thankful for the animals that end up on our plates.

I am thankful I have clean water available. Some people walk miles just to get water that is dirty and contaminated. Others struggle to get access to the very same quality of water I have access to.

I’m thankful for music (the different genres of music that satisfy my many different moods and emotions) and the way it lifts my spirits when I’m down. Music gives me special memories that always make me smile. I’m so thankful for our easy access to music via the Internet, Radio, CDs etc and that I can listen to music whenever and wherever.

I am grateful I don’t have to walk everywhere. I own neither a car nor a bike. But I got enough money to get where I need to go using public transportation. It sure is nice to have the option not to walk. I appreciate the fact that I have some way to get around, even if it isn’t the classiest conveyance available.


# DAY 2

I am grateful there’s a roof over my head and walls around me. I appreciate the roof that keeps me dry and safe. Bugs and wild animals could have their way with me without my home’s roof and walls. I would also be at the mercy of all the elements:  rain, cold, wind, heat, sun, etc.As I lay down on my bed, feeling how soft and comfy it is; I say, “Thank you.”  As I close my eyes, I let appreciation pour from my heart.

I am grateful I have clean clothes. I may not have the nicest, the newest, or the trendiest clothes, but they are clean and they keep me warm and comfortable. I have a choice of what clothes to wear.

I am so thankful I have access to medical care. I once fainted when I was in the market…the next thing I knew, I woke to find myself on a hospital bed. Next to me, was this sick young girl…she looked sick of course and very weak. Her lips were very dry, nearly cracking…her clothes were dirty and she barely had anything to cover herself, just a small old “katenge”. Her mother didn’t have enough money to pay for her medical bills. My case wasn’t that bad and I was discharged after few minutes. As I walked outside the hospital thinking about the young girl, I realized how lucky I am. I have access to medical care. And I am reasonably strong and healthy – if i got sick today, I could recover.

I am super grateful I have all the five senses. I am able to see the sunrise and the sunset, I am able to hear birds sing, I can walk outside and feel the sun’s warmth on your skin. I have tasted the sweetness of a chocolate cake. There are people out there who don’t have their 5 senses, and to have mine is a gift.

I am thankful I have overcome some considerable obstacles, and I have learned and survived. They say “everything you go through grows you”. In life mistakes make you smarter and pain makes you stronger. I’ve failed in some things; to look for an alternative was the toughest decision but finally I decided and I am looking forward to keep growing…


# DAY 3

I am grateful to have opened my eyes this morning and put my two feet on the floor to begin yet another glorious day.

I am grateful I haven’t feared for my life today. I don’t live in a gang infested territory. And I don’t have to walk through a town with no structure, controlled by militia, and random gunfire every hour or so. I am not being persecuted for my beliefs, and I live in a country that respects my human rights.

I am grateful for the internet, the most transformative communication platform; and the possibilities it presents us with. Thankful for all the tons of information it provides us with. I am so thankful for the basic ways the internet has eased my daily routine − keeping track of my friends and family on social networks and email, providing a source of entertainment, experiencing different cultures − I am grateful that I have access to the internet.

I am so grateful that I have a place I call home and the biggest warmest hearts to go home to. A home is no home without a heart.

I am grateful that I have choices, and the freedom to make my own decisions (about what to eat, what to wear, where to live, the kind of career I would like to pursue etc). And I often worry about what I’m going to do with my life – my career, the next step, etc. – because I have ambition, passion, drive, and the freedom to make my own decisions.


# DAY 4

I am grateful for the gift of love, deep in my heart, for this is what I will never lose, run out of or have taken away.

I am grateful for second chances. Sometimes I do make mistakes that i should be punished for but I am forgiven and given the opportunity for a second chance. I am human! And I am grateful that I can learn from my mistakes.

I am so grateful for being literate. Thankful to my parents for all the efforts and sacrifices they’ve put in my education. I am equally grateful for all my teachers, for passing their knowledge onto me. I never thought about how lucky I am to be educated…to be able to read and write…now I realize that being literate is not a right but a gift.

I am thankful for my abilities that can be used to help those in need. I’m grateful i can still be of help to people especially, those who need me most.

I am grateful for babies…i mean our neighbor’s babies. I’ve never had a baby, but when I think of them, I just cant explain how much I love them! The thought of having a child, I just can’t think of anything else. And the most wonderful thing is that they’re yours. All yours. And they’re the thing that brings you the most joy. I so love babies. I can’t wait to have mine, my baby! (I have a son though, very wondrous!)


# DAY 5

I am and will always be grateful for my parents who have always been so supportive of me, and loved me unconditionally (in spite of my flaws). I am thankful to my Mom for her big heart, my Dad for his strength…having them in my life, is the greatest blessing for me. I’m lucky that my parents are still alive and lucky to have a great relationship with them. I realize that some people have had painful experiences with their parents. Some lost their parents through illnesses and death. Some have felt abandoned, betrayed and hurt…

I am so grateful for my Close friends. There are people in this world who love me and whom I cherish. I am not good at socializing but I’ll never lose sight of them. I am lucky to have them, I feel so blessed and I love my life mainly cause of all the beautiful people in it. Even in life’s hardest times, I can sustain myself with the love they give to me.

I am so grateful for my boyfriend… Because of him I am working on improving myself in the hope that we can be truly happy together. There are tough times, periods of doubt and worry and fear and uncertainty. But I am sticking with it until I learn to love myself and hopefully share that love with him.

I am grateful for my siblings. They bring out the best in me…I had a fun childhood cause of them. And being the only girl, they treat me like a princess. They are the best brothers, the best friends anyone could ask for. (And Kirenga, thanks for the airtime, the cash you lend me though i’ll never be able to pay you back! But you’ll understand! Hahahaaa)

I’m thankful for my life and happy to be alive. I am happy with who I am now…I’ve realized the individual inside me that has ideas, strength and beauty like no one else, and I am embracing that individual. I’ve learnt to let my positivity inspire my journey into tomorrow. I am doing my best to the “best version of me”. Often i don’t feel lucky or that my life is working out but I know I must carry on for some reason, some surprise that is yet to be revealed. I am grateful 😀


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