I REMEMBER being told by an elderly aunt that I should “count my blessings”. This made no sense to me whatsoever. Blessings were “things” that priests and ministers gave out. Why would I want to count them?
Another saying was “be thankful for small mercies”. Oh, that made perfect sense to an eight-year-old. My head seemed to be inundated with odd phrases, the meaning of which totally baffled me.
Years later, somewhat miffed that I’m old enough to understand the “hidden” messages, I find that I don’t count my blessings nearly enough. These include my children, who are happy, healthy and confident individuals; my friends, who are always there for me and without whom my world would be a very lonely place; my pupils, who make every day a surprise for me; other family members who know the “real me” and still like me. In fact, there are too many blessings for which I should be grateful - too numerous to count.
I was recently working with nine children, eight of whom knew each other. We had been practising for weeks and, finally, the “big day” arrived. One child didn’t come so his readings had to be hastily allocated to another child. Not wishing to put pressure on anyone, I left the decision with the children. Imagine my surprise when one of the eight announced that she would share the readings with the child who had been a stranger a few weeks ago. Kids are blessings indeed.
We live in a society of “doom and gloom” and “woe is me”, always looking at the negative side of life. We need to be more positive. As the kids would say, “get over it”. We’re only here for a short while and we should make every minute count.
St Margaret’s & St Ninian’s