Haven’t we all admired the nature around us, the beauty of the greens on a nature spot, the beautiful flowers on a spring evening and a quietly flowing river through its path? These are the various gifts we have received from Mother Nature and they make our life beautiful on Earth.
Yet, how many of us realise that they are there for a purpose, they serve in more than one ways to living things on earth and make our lives meaningful each day. In the busy lives we lead, we almost forget to realise this beautiful thing and lead almost selfish lives where ‘I, me, myself’ becomes the centre of our thinking.
The meaning of ‘joy’
The tree experiences a lot of ‘joy’ in providing shelter to a whole lot of living things on earth. It doesn’t matter if man fells trees on land and uses them to serve his commercial purposes. The idea behind the tree serving its own purpose is the ‘joy’ it gets from being helpful to co-inhabitants on the planet.
If the tree ever happened to withdraw its branches or rejected providing shelter to anyone, that would be a miserable state, hard to imagine. So basically ‘joy’ is a feeling, resulting in inner happiness, leading to a meaningful purpose and serving that purpose beyond selfish boundaries.
The beauty of ‘gratitude’
If we talk about the tree again, man doesn’t realise how much necessary it was for him to thank the tree that gave him shelter, provided fruits and gave fresh oxygen to breathe. If he did realise the importance of that tree and thanked it for all the multipurpose necessities, he would certainly be grateful to the tree.
Instead, we rather take things for granted and do not realise the actual value of an entity and how it served a whole lot of goodness to us. We fell trees, we break its branches, we convert them into ornamental structures, etc, but we don’t thank the tree for having provided us an opportunity to do so.
If man indeed loved and nurtured the tree and the purpose it served, then his inner beauty would have transformed into what is called ‘gratitude’ or simply put ‘being thankful in a kind way’.
The difference between ‘giving back’ and ‘paying back’
Man, by nature is interdependent in his daily life. We get up in the morning and right from there, we depend on our family members to help us out in our various tasks and this continues till the end of the day is reached. Suppose we hire an auto to work and the auto driver takes you to your office on a certain day, we pay him the auto charge and end our journey with him at that point.
This whole journey is more of a business transaction, where we paid dutifully for his services. But there is something lacking in it. Though the auto driver discharged his duty, he is also a human being co-existing with us. We can actually make a slight difference in this whole journey by adding two more ingredients.
We can supplement the auto charge we paid with a thank you and wish him a great day ahead with a beautiful smile. This added gesture now becomes ‘gratitude’ instead of it remaining a mere ‘transaction’.
So, the difference is clear. Where we appreciate the people around us, where we thank people for what they do to us every day, where we shower people with love and kindness for all the support they provide, there exists a natural bonding or feeling of ‘gratitude’. This gratitude is experienced in the form of happiness, which is manifested with a feeling of satisfaction, ending up in seamless and abundant ‘joy’.
When we ‘give back’ a received item to a certain person by attaching a thankful message to them, we show our gratitude to them. We create ‘joy’ in their minds. In short, the joy experienced becomes a very powerful expression derived out of the other person’s gratitude.
When we ‘pay back’ for a service rendered from a certain professional and leave with being grateful for it, it is more of a business process, adhering only to the policies laid out by the business.
Patents nurtures their children right from the time a child is born till he becomes an adult and actually continues to do it all their lifetime. But when children need to look after their parents in their old age, many of them push them forcefully into old-age homes, depriving them of their love and happiness.
Children forget to be grateful to their parents when it is their turn to take care of their aged parents. If we are wondering why this is increasingly becoming a common sight, it’s simply because children are not showing their gratitude to their parents. They are failing to experience the joy of living with their parents in their later years and strengthening a holy bond with them.
We have damaged mother earth to an unimaginable extent and have exhausted many natural resources and rendered many beautiful species extinct. The question is, why did man forget to show his gratitude to his supplier when he got so much more than what he asked, for his beautiful living.
The answer is, man forgot to give back to the person who provided him with much more than what he asked. In aiming and reaching his selfish pursuits, he forgot the basic laws of nature and hence his life also became worthless in the process.
We all lead stressful lives, where every minute and every second counts and nobody has time for free. Yet, when so much is done with so much precision, why is it that we fail so many times. Why is it that we tend to fall out of balance in our pursuits? It is clearly an indication that man is not enjoying or rather has not learnt to enjoy the results he has earned for himself.
If we bring a flowering plant and place it at a corner of our house just admiring the flowers every morning, we are only experiencing the outer beauty of the flower. Suppose we nurture the plant giving out the flower everyday with water and manure and then see the flower bloom every day, the sense of happiness is different.
In the second context, there is a sense of ‘joy’ along with happiness, because here happiness doubles with gratitude that we show to the flowering plant.
Showing gratitude does not necessarily mean repaying or giving back in monetary terms. It simply means being grateful for what we received, in a humble and kind way. Sometimes a smile is all that is needed to show our gratitude, because the ‘inner joy’ that is experienced when one showers love in the form of gratitude is a much more greater feeling than receiving monetary benefits on the same lines.
Showing gratitude serves a higher purpose of human living and is experienced in the simplest form of ‘joy’ attached with kindness. It is up to us to choose our ‘joy’ and experience high levels of inner happiness by showing gratitude to our fellow habitant.