Today, I spent the day taking care of work for clubs I’m in and doing laundry. I did, however, take a much appreciated break watching the Japanese drama, “1 Litre of Tears.” The show tells the real life inspired story of an unfortunate girl befallen with an incurable illness and her struggle to live with dignity. Put simply, I was moved. I watched several episodes and when I thought I had cried enough for one day I placed my computer on my desk and walked to my room’s window. To my surprise, I discovered a red glow cascading over the valley mountains behind my Hawaii home. I was shook by its beauty.
I walked out to the front of my house, took a seat at the top of my red cement steps, and took out my ipod. Listening to my music, I made it a point to capture this moment before it left. Far beyond in the distance, a canvas of colors filled the sky as if shaded in by a huge paintbrush. Pink clouds spotted across a powder blue horizon hovered over a Honolulu metropolis of jagged buildings pointing to heaven. A soft breeze blew through my hair and gently rustled the trees nearby. And I realized everything was perfect.
But not because everything was necessarily perfect. Everything was perfect because it was enough. It was enough.
I realized that circumstances may make a different world for each person, personal blessings or seemingly unfair burdens change the rules of the game for each player, but at the end of the day every man is measured not by what he is worth but by how able he is to see the things of worth around him. Every single day there is a sunrise and a sunset. And too often, we let these very simple moments of beauty escape us. Instead we clutter our lives with the worries of tomorrow and the chains of a what-could-have-be yesterday. And amid all the chaos, disorder, or anxiety of our lives, we lose sight of the only thing that really matters: The Present.
I don’t want to live a life where the best years of my life are always contained in memories of the past. I don’t want to live a life where I’m always just waiting for something better to come. I want to live a life filled with constant rebirth and unending epiphanies, joy in each blessing and peace in the downfall, but most importantly, I want to live with gratitude.
Someone very close to me once told me, “We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” The same can be applied to the world. The same can be applied to everything. If you’re looking for the perfect life by trying to find perfection itself you will always be disappointed in the end. We live in such a world that the happiest man is not he who has attained perfection but he who has learned to appreciate the imperfection instead. This is the power of gratitude: to see what is there over what is not and to live happily with what life has handed you.
The best feeling of all is being able to say thank you—and meaning it.