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Last night I received an email from a grieving mother who has asked me to share her message and tragic story with you, in the hope that as many people as possible realise that life is a gift and we should never take it for granted.A 15-year-old boy recently lost his life and was killed when he was pinned by equipment while working out at a Brisbane gym. Ben Shaw was reportedly crushed under a 98kg bar for at least half an hour, which later resulted in his death.
This is such a tragedy and so many of you reading this will be asking yourself the same question: “Why? He was so young.”
Without realising it, we live large chunks of their lives on autopilot and take most things for granted. Most of us wake up every morning without giving a second thought to the fact that we are alive – that our heart continues beating and our lungs keep filling with air without us having to do a thing.
We get out of bed, head to the shower, or get ready for work without considering how lucky we are.
We prioritise our days, manage our appointments and tasks without recognising the value of the good people around us, without knowing how fortunate we are to have food in the fridge, clothes on our back, a roof over our head, and a place to sleep.
We overlook and take so much for granted in our life, only missing things when they’re gone. Sometimes we require a wake-up call – normally an illness or the death of someone close to us.
When that happens, all of a sudden you become a patient in a world of waiting rooms, sometimes waiting hours for a result; attending appointment after appointment and spending too much time in cold, clinical machines like MRIs & CTs; kneeling at the base of a hospital bed, praying for miracles; and dealing with the frustration of tests, examinations and uncertainty.
Then you look at the healthy people skipping down the street like you once did, you realise you took it all for granted, and you wish you could do it all again and have your time over.
We take it for granted that our loved ones are coming home to us, that we’ll get a chance to say goodbye, to tell them how much they mean to us.
Never take life for granted.”
– Unknown Author –
The takeaway for this month:
Being grateful and appreciative of what you have in life changes your focus from what you want to what you already have. Recent research suggests that growth in many areas of your life can result from the practice of gratitude. Being thankful can not only increase happiness, but it can also improve your immune system and health through reducing stress. It enriches both personal and social relationships, and allows us to perceive and deal with adversities and setbacks with greater ease.
I have learned that gratitude is one of the most important virtues. Each night, just before going to sleep, I think of three things that I am grateful for. This has profoundly altered my perspective and the quality of my life.
I cannot imagine what it is like to lose someone so young and in such a tragic way. My deepest condolences are with Ben’s family and as requested, please share this message and give someone close to you a wake up call.
Written by Ritchie Gibson