Complacency and Gratitude

Recently, I bought a drink and sat outside, watching the area of a grocery store where the flowers were, and in the following 20 minutes during what was a busy time, not one person stopped and smelled the flowers! I was astounded! Have we become so complacent that such beauty can be so ignored?


Before going into the grocery store, I stopped and smelled the flowers they have on sale there. Sometimes you just have to take the time to stop and have a sniff! None of them smelled like the flowers around my home. It turns out that the flowers there are mostly unscented for hospitals and elder care facilities. I got the oddest look from a woman who walked by. “Men don’t stop and smell the flowers!” she seemed to be thinking. 

I think differently, I act differently, I don’t give a whoop about sports, I volunteer, I care about people, I attend a spiritual centre, I stop and smell the flowers, and I make an awesome Vegan pasta sauce. Not bad for a single, “not a vegan”, straight guy.

We live in an amazing beautiful place. Note I did not mention which beautiful place, as we ALL live in an amazingly beautiful place. The place is of our making, by our choice, whether it is on the street or in a lavish villa beside the ocean. We are surrounded by beauty, whether it is the location, the rain or sunshine, the lakes we draw our water from, the ocean we SCUBA dive in, the mountains we climb, the flowers in the pastures and woods, and the trees in Cathedral Grove (one of my favourite places).

I am grateful for these things, and more. When I walk through the trails of Cathedral Grove, I am surrounded by trees that were there before my family arrived in North America almost 100 years ago. I am grateful that my ancestors arrived safely and were able to raise their families so that I could one day stand beside these 200+ foot tall ancient trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the atmosphere. This allows me to breathe, for which I am very grateful! 

We are complacent to the point where we complain about the heat during summer, the cold, snow, and rain during winter. People forget that at 40,000 feet it is cold to winter extremes in winter or summer, and above those rain clouds we rant and grumble about, there is beautiful sunshine radiating like on the brightest of summer days. We are spoiled but complacent by the beauty around us, from the newborn babies in the loving arms of their mothers, the playful kitten at our feet, and to that street person on the corner. We need to change our thinking and our life to better ourselves and our planet.


So, I challenge you to stop and smell the natural flowers, and to be grateful. Spend five minutes before bed, and write down what you are grateful for. It might be as simple as seeing your grandchildren, spending time with your spouse, having a roof over your head or even life itself. Keep it simple, and every once in a while go back and read the entries from some time ago. You will be surprised at how much you can be grateful for.

Me? I am grateful you took the time to read this. Thank You!

Denis Brisson is a man changing his thinking and his life.