Please forgive another one of my brief digressions from markets and economics. However, I believe it’s important to exercise conscious gratitude. It is so easy to get caught up in the things we are chasing (e.g. the things we want or things we want to do) that we forget to be grateful for the things we have.
Looking at the big picture, there’s probably never been a better time to be alive.
Consider the 20th century, which was marred by two world wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War where people were legitimately concerned the world could be annihilated by nuclear bombs at any moment. Currently, we’re not in the throes of a brutal, deadly world war and we’re not losing sleep that tomorrow could be the end of the world.
Look even farther back than the last century, and you’ll really gain an appreciation for what we have. For the vast majority of humans’ time on this Earth, they have lived in relatively miserable conditions. Shelter was poor, food and water was laborious (and often dangerous) to collect, there was little / no potential of improving your status in life through hard work and ingenuity, etc…
For the vast majority of us today, at a minimum, we wake up in warm beds in a climate-controlled home, the lights work, hot water runs and we have plenty of food. Most households even have machines to wash dishes and clothes freeing us up to do more valuable and enjoyable things and refrigerators keeping our food fresh.
We can press a button and have instant access to the greatest music, movies and other entertainment. We don’t have to spend a small fortune to hire musicians to perform for us. Instead, we have access to all this great art for free! Something that was impossible not that long ago.
Obviously, our technology has never been greater. Knowledge and education from actual master practitioners has never been more accessible no matter where you live or how little money is in the bank.
Sure, everything is not perfect, and we should always be striving to improve our world. We shouldn’t get complacent. However, it’s also important to maintain a healthy perspective and be grateful for our many blessings!