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Be Grateful for the Gifts Around You

By Ben Leclerc, Grade 12
我想谈谈一种强大的情感,它有可能改变生活,让我们的世界变得更美好:感恩. 感恩是一种简单而深刻的感激和感激之情, kindness, and opportunities we encounter in our lives. 这是一种能带来快乐、满足和成就感的态度. 
I have not always been the most optimistic, and I have often wanted to have more, better, faster, which at the end of the day has often led me to feel unsatisfied. To be honest, I may have been looking at it wrong. Yes, things have not always turned the way I wanted in life. 我曾经感到非常愤怒和怨恨,因为我能关注的都是我没有得到的东西, everything that was missing from the picture that I imagined as perfect. Better grades. More ice time. Prettier clothes. A higher position on the scoresheet. 我太专注于失去的东西,以至于几乎看不到我所拥有的东西:健康, home, family, 朋友和其他一切不是必不可少的东西,但它们为我的生活增添了价值. 
Last year, I lost my grandma. It all happened very quickly. She suddenly became very sick, and within less than a year, she was gone. 让我印象深刻的是不管她生病时经历了什么, not once did I ever hear her complain about it. It made me realize that my perspective might have been wrong. 生活是美好的,不管我的成绩或分数多少. 我意识到身体健康,有一个充满爱和支持的家庭,以及一些重要的友谊是最重要的, especially when your life gets turned upside-down by tragic events, such as illness and loss of loved ones. 我意识到,如果我能看到照片中真实的东西,而不是关注照片中缺失的东西, my life would still be the same, but I would feel much happier about it. So ever since my grandma passed away, 我在睡前安排了一段时间,对生活中一切顺利的事情心存感激.
When we practice gratitude, it has a ripple effect. It does not only benefit our own well-being and happiness, but it also extends to the people around us. Practicing gratitude affects our attitude in a positive way, which in turn has the power of uplifting others around us. Gratitude also helps us to see beyond the immediate circumstances, as we learn to focus on much deeper or greater blessings. 当我们停止浪费精力抱怨我们不满意的事情, and instead make the effort to identify what brings us happiness, 我们拥有了更多的能量,这让我们有力量克服障碍,在黑暗的环境中找到一线希望.

我鼓励我的同学们花点时间来反思我们周围的丰富的祝福. Let us express our gratitude for the opportunities that have come our way, for the lessons hidden behind the failures and the blessings in disguise, and for the people who have supported and loved us unconditionally.
One thing is for sure: tomorrow is not promised. In fact, I realize now how four years can go by so fast. It seems like yesterday I stepped foot on campus for the first time. 那时候,我是一个爱生气的孩子,对我来说,感激只是一个词. Carruthers would say before family style lunch. 现在,作为一名学生,我只剩下几天的时间了,我明白我能来到这里是多么幸运. I have received an excellent education, I have been blessed with lifelong friendships, and even if there have been harder situations, I know time and reflection will eventually help me find a silver lining.  
我想对过去四年在斯坦斯特德支持我的人表示感谢:我的父母, my siblings, Gloria, my boys, my coaches, my teachers, my house directors, Mr. Pimm for being a second dad and best advisor, Mr. Spirk and Ms. 加勒特,感谢你在所有人之前看到了我的优点. 格雷罗),以及所有让我在这里的旅程变得不可思议的人.

May we never take for granted the life we have been given, and may we always find reasons to be grateful.