Cliche Day: Taking Things For Granted

I love cliche’s, so every once in a while, I’m going to delve deeper into a cliche to understand what it’s really about and why it may be cliche but it still has value.

Today’s Topic: Taking Things For Granted

Usually taking something for granted means you don’t appreciate it as much as you should. Where does this come from? Why would you take something for granted? You might be so used to having something that you cease to value it, but I think there is a deeper cause to this attitude. That cause is pride.

According to dictionary.com when used as a noun “granted” can mean “something granted, as a privilege or right”. I think that this speaks to the root cause of the problem. Taking something for granted is what happens when you stop seeing something as a privilege and start seeing it as a right. You might subconsciously think that the good things that others do for you or the good things that happen to you in life are your right. You see this often in spoiled children; the thing they want they feel they deserve to have, not because of anything they have done to earn it but because of who they are. They’re special so of course life should be everything they want it to be. Even though we, as adults, should have more wisdom; whom among us hasn’t been frustrated or angry that things haven’t gone their way. Another aspect of taking things for granted is all about seeing the negative side of things while not acknowledging the good. I rarely hear someone comment that traffic was great or the line at the DMV was super short but I always hear about it when traffic took forever or the lines were huge. After all doesn’t the universe realize that those long lines or traffic jams are interrupting our day and that we are too important to have to deal with these inconveniences? If you recognize yourself in these thoughts or comments don’t despair, there is a cure. The antidote is gratitude.

It occurred to me that in my home the dinner table was often a scene of venting about all the things that went wrong that day. My husband and I are just seeing each other for the first time after work and we want to share our frustrations. That’s a pretty natural thing to do.  But what are we teaching our daughter about how to view the world? To address this issue I’m going to  start having dinner be about all the good things that have happened to us that day. How I had a really fun conversation with a cute family at work or how my husband met someone interesting. Gratitude is one of the many things we take for granted but gratitude doesn’t just happen on its own; it’s something we have to consciously think about and strive for each day. I urge you to take some time at the end of the day to think about all the good things that have happened to you and truly count your blessings, but that is a cliché for another day.

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