Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Probably the single greatest question we can ask ourselves is: What is the most important thing in life? This question is difficult to answer and is different for every one of us. When you try to think of the most important thing in your life, what is it? If you can pinpoint the answer, you can determine what your life’s purpose is. Sometimes the most basic principles are things we overlook every day.

I think many people don’t appreciate how fortunate we are. I believe in not taking life for granted.

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Life and the love we get, the experiences we have, and the opportunities that lay ahead of us are endless. Some people throw everything away and don’t realize what they had until it’s gone. I think that we should not have to lose everything in order to find ourselves.

Much like after the festive season of the high holidays at the beginning of the Jewish New Year, from Rosh Hashana until the day after Simchat Torah, we sometimes find ourselves lost at getting back into our routine. We have difficulty finding meaning in our mundane, boring everyday life. The time period that we are going into right now is similar to that of the beginning of the year. Since the month of February we have had a big holiday every month. From Purim to Pesach to Lag B’aomer to Shavuot. It is never a dull moment. And now it seems as if the next holiday to look forward to is still so far away.

Sometimes we are so busy looking for the next great thing to plan and prepare for that we seem to forget that the simplest things in life, and finding happiness in those tremendous simplicities. We often get so caught up in our busy lives that we tend to forget just how important it is to truly live and experience each and every moment in it’s simplicity. We live for the big things, the exciting things, instead of appreciating the little things. We live for the weekends, the holidays, or the big vacation we’ve been dreaming of for years.

And while it’s great to have goals and things to work towards, I think it’s equally important to remember that each day, hour, or minute is never promised, and to thus, live accordingly. By living in the here and now, and by not taking life for granted, and by making each and every day the best as it can be, we live more fully.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Life is too short to waste our time thinking about what we do not have. We obviously can survive without them; we have made it this far. Things do not make us happy, it is how we feel within ourselves that really matters. What you get out of life depends entirely upon your attitude. The things that truly provide happiness are usually right in front of us. What we need to do it continuously remind ourselves where we’d be without them.

“Never fail to appreciate someone who cares for you. Just because they’re always in your life to help in some way, never fail to give thanks or recognition. To value someone or something too lightly is a risk no one should take.”

In order to achieve wanting only the things and people that you have you need to look into the positive things you gain from having these people or things around you. The things you take for granted are the things others are praying for.

So as we enter into this long summer phase which can seem quite boring, take each and every moment as a gift from G-d and look to find all the small everyday wonders that the Almighty grants each and every one of us daily. Thank Hashem for what we have because all of us have what we really need. As we recite in our morning prayers, “she asa li kol tzarki” – G-d has given me all I need today. And through this gratitude, Hashem will surely send us much more then we need.

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