Gratitude is the Key

April 14, 2020
Oakland, CA
Sunny and warm

It was a cool, spring day at the Albuquerque, NM zoo, a park-like zoo with enclosures for the animals as natural as can be achieved by human beings. The chimpanzees, however, were crowded together in a cave-like structure while their new home was being constructed.

I arrived at their cave the moment the door was opened and they were released into their reconstructed playground. They came leaping out into their new freedom, swinging from the trees, and whooping with joy.

But there was one who, instead of running and jumping into the new trees, ran to the window where the zoo attendant was watching and kissed the window in front of the attendant. Instead of joining immediately in the celebration, she took the time to say, “Thank you.”

How many times has some unexpected gift suddenly dropped in my lap, a phone call from a friend when I was feeling down, a surprise refund from the IRS just when I needed to buy a new computer, a friend who dropped by my house unexpectedly and took me for the only motorcycle ride of my life. I was wonder-struck at these events, thanked my friends, and even, silently, the IRS, but did I thank the real Source?

The Source can be found in the heart of the giver, but in the case of the check from the IRS, what is the source? As far as I know, the IRS didn’t owe me anything. We call these surprise gifts “coincidences” because we don’t recognize that they come from the hand of a benevolent Universe.

Thanking the obvious source is not enough. We need to thank the invisible Source, the one watching from behind the window, the one interceding for us when we don’t know what to do, the gift behind the gift.

With gratitude for all the unacknowledged gifts,

Your friend,

Kindly visit the Facebook page of my mentor, Rahul Starr Patel.
Recommended reading:
Spiritual Ecology: 10 Practices to Reawaken the Sacred in Everyday Life, by Lewellyn Vaughn-Lee and Hilary Hart

2 thoughts on “Gratitude is the Key”

  1. God is the SOURCE, the channels, tributaries..the persons…. are the forms it comes in.
    A Unity prayer says: Divine Love, through me, blesses and multiplies all I have, all I
    give and all I receive.

    Somewhere I read…when we go to the well for water, don’t forget to thank the
    source…. of the water.

    Good lesson! and I loved the story of the chimpanzee! Imagine! animals are not without
    some of our human qualities we recognize.

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