When I was a child, around age ten, my grandfather told me a story that shaped who I am today.
My grandfather loved to fish.
Every weekend, he would spend hours at the pier.
He would sit there in his favorite fishing chair with plenty of bait, snacks, and a radio.
I’m grateful for the times I went because he would give me great advice about life.
What to do, what to avoid, how I should think before I act, and how to always turn negatives into positives.
Those weekends at the pier were very meaningful and valuable.
I remember the fresh smell of the sea, the relaxing sound of the waves, the excitement of when I felt a fish pull on my line, the laughs, the serious moments when my grandfather shared a sad story or past experience that resulted in a vital life lesson.
The bonding time was great.
However, there was one weekend I didn’t go that I wish I would’ve.
My grandfather witnessed something that forever changed his perspective on life.
…and changed mine as well.
Under the pier, there were these huge rocks were pelicans would position themselves to catch fish, crabs, or anything edible.
My grandfather witnessed one pelican that was stationed on the same rock for a while.
The pelican was patiently waiting for the first sign of anything he could eat.
My grandfather decided to throw him a piece of bread.
What happened next lead to my vital life lesson…
The pelican quickly grabbed the piece of bread but noticed that my grandfather also threw an additional piece to a different area.
The second piece was significantly bigger than the first.
The pelican eyed the bigger piece and decided to drop the one in his mouth.
He flew over to the bigger piece but was beaten by another pelican who quickly grabbed it and flew away.
Once the pelican noticed he had lost the bigger piece, he flew back where he had left his original piece, but was disappointed once again because another pelican had taken it.
As a result, he was left with nothing.
Do you see what happened there?
The pelican could have been satisfied and grateful with his first piece, but decided to be selfish and risk getting a bigger piece.
In life, most people are constantly asking for more.
They’re not grateful for what they already have.
So many people in the world have it worse than you, no matter what situation you’re in.
Even if you have a little bit, be happy and grateful for it.
Yeah, maybe you’re job isn’t the one you desire, but hey, at least you have a job.
Maybe your car isn’t the one you wish you had, would you rather walk or wait for the bus?
Do you know how many other pelicans would’ve loved that piece of bread the pelican dropped in exchange for the bigger piece?
My guess is ALL of them.
You have to sit down and be grateful for what you receive in life.
My grandfather admitted that he felt bad for the pelican, but unfortunately, was out of bread.
This story taught me to always be satisfied, no matter how little or how much I have.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting more out of life, you should constantly learn, grow, and achieve greater things.
...but the message here is to always show appreciation for what you already have.
If you’re not happy with where you are in life, that’s OK.
Begin working to change your situation, but never neglect being grateful for things you have that many others all over the world don’t.
Is there a roof over your head?
Do you have water to shower with?
Have you eaten today?
Did you wake up this morning, unlike many unlucky people whose last glimpse at life was last night before they closed their eyes?
That greedy bird could have had a delicious piece of bread that day.
Instead, he was left hungry and with a vital life lesson.
Be grateful for what you have.