I have always struggled with being content with the situation that I'm in. Not because I want more things, but because Joe and I seem to have set backs pretty regularly. I'm always thankful and happy about what we have and who we have become. I try very hard to be positive about the situations that we find ourselves in, but just like everyone else, there are times where life makes us feel inadequate and behind the curve.
I teach both ancient India and ancient China which come consecutively in my yearly curriculum plan. This year, I paid extra attention to the teachings of the major thinkers of that time period. Laozi, Confucius, and Buddha were instrumental in the development in these ancient super-powers, and now, in my life. Ever since writing a research paper about Buddhism in my Freshman Inquiry class in college, I have felt very close to the teachings that make up the religion.
I have mushed these three belief-systems into one to create my own spiritual path. Laozi focused on nature and our need to respect/protect it. Confucius believed that we should put or families and communities first. The Buddha believes that we create our own suffering and that needing/having possessions is not the way to true happiness. I think that the biggest take-away of these points is that I need to remember that I need to focus on all of the amazing things I have (family, friends, health, safety, a community, the beautiful nature that surrounds us, etc.).
Several situations have arose recently that have reminded me of all of the wonderful things that I have to be thankful for: a scary situation with my son, a documentary about the need for water in other countries, the fact that I still have a career that I love even in this horrible economy, my son's birthday party attended by all of the amazing people in our lives, my students, having a roof over our heads, the sunshine we have been experiencing these past few days,.......and the list goes on and on.
I get one life and I'm going to make the most out of it! Both for myself and for the people who come after me.