There is a video making the rounds on the Internet that demonstrates what true gratitude looks like. Oddly enough, it is not an adult, but an 8 year old boy who is the teacher, and a beautiful spirit he is.
The story goes that the little boy has asked for a tablet for his birthday. The video is in Spanish but there is no need for an interpreter to tell us what is going on. He is sitting at the kitchen table and his mother hands him a wrapped package in the obvious shape of a tablet. However, when he tears off the paper, he finds a hand made wooden cutting board instead of a tablet. He smiles at his parents and runs his hands over the board, obviously impressed with the workmanship that went in to making his gift. He gets up and hugs both of his parents, saying thank you and telling them he loves them. Then he sits back down and goes back to examining his gift. Suddenly his mother hands him a second wrapped gift. He looks at them questioningly, and slowly removes the paper. The minute he sees the picture of the tablet on the outside of the box, he bursts into tears of joy and jumps up to hug his parents again, thanking them from the bottom of his sweet, little heart. His happiness brought tears to my eyes, not because he got what he wished for, but because he was prepared to accept the gift he was given in gratitude and with more grace than any adult I have every known.
What a gift this child has given us by his example. Our children and grandchildren have been raised in a culture that would scoff at the notion that they should be grateful for a cutting board instead of a tablet. Perhaps it is the difference in the cultures, but I suspect it has more to do with the wisdom of his parents in raising a child who will grow into a young man with integrity, gratitude and a belief that we already have all that we need: love, kindness, compassion, and gratitude; a roof over ones head, food on the table, clothes on our backs, and a world outside of our windows (and away from our TV's and computers) that is better than any reality show or video game. What more do we need?
Maybe one day this little boy will grow up to change the world. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all help him by teaching our children to follow in his footsteps?
And so it is.
P.S. The title of the video on YouTube is Kid Falls In Love With Cutting Board. Couldn't make the link work.