“The first step to happiness is an attitude of gratitude”

This is something I have always said and told myself and others.

When you are feeling down or sad, always remember first to say thank you. To no one particular. To God if you are of strong faith. For? Living in a world of sounds, where you can make one or hear one.

There is this video that had been circulating over the past month about a young boy, apparently from South America, who had received a chopping board for his birthday present. He still thanked and hugged his mum and dad, for giving him a chopping board. Then he was given he real present – a tablet. He literally broke down with happiness and gratefulness. And it was just an ordinary tablet, not an iPad or Samsung tablets. Lemme rephrase that, it was an extraordinary tablet, bought with sweats and love of his parents, something that might cost less but worth a lot more to the kid than other iPads or tablets.

The reason I brought this up because it reminded me of my early childhood. I remembered being relatively poor compared to many of my peers yet content with many things in life. Alright, not exactly all content, I loved going to the Toys R Us at one point because of the abundance of toys there. More often than not, I would leave the store either in tears or broken heart with no toys because Mum and Dad just couldn’t afford them. The new RM50 ( back in 90s) Lego set I wanted would have been a third of my yearly textbook costs. Or two months of my bus fare.

One more thing I realised as well, our house did not celebrate much of birthdays. As I grew older , looking back, those birthday cakes would have cost the us probably a month worth of meat for us. As we skimped and saved, at one point I have totally forgotten the notion of celebrating birthdays until later in secondary school. I have never received a birthday present from my parents and funnily I didn’t complain much about it.

As I got older and went to college and then university, somehow, I got myself more and more obsessed with the notion of celebrating birthdays. I guess it is all good if a bunch of us could sit down, sing some silly song and have some fun on birthdays. However, do I even need a reason for those to happen?

Anyhow, recently, I have found comfort in solitude. I cook and eat alone. I watch movies by myself in the cinema. I talk to no one outside of work. I gone to gym all by myself. I am working in a no-mans land where Internet was even an issue, though not a persistent one. I met more people. More wonderful people. Maybe some of them will turn out to be life long friends perhaps, as skeptical as I am now. Who knows?

I do however have a lot to thank for. I would not starve to save money. I have a roof over my head. I still have some forms of income. My family is still intact. I have the latest iPhone when someone around the world had to sell a kidney for one. I am able bodied. I can walk. I can run. Etc. plenty of things I should be grateful or remind myself to be grateful for.