top of page

Always Remember What You Have

Have you ever received messages saying “Always be thankful for what you have”? Either through a social media post, a devotional, or from a loved one? Whether it’s recently or in the past, all of us have acquired this piece of advice more than once.

That’s because our parents raised us to always appreciate what they or other people did for us, never stop being grateful, and always repay the favor when we can.

Sadly, nowadays, I find that a lot of people don’t do that anymore. Instead, they show ungratefulness towards each other, and this kind of behavior spreads as if it’s normal. The more this issue grows the worse our environment gets.

Take it from me, I had to learn how to be grateful early in my childhood, and as I look back on that, I’m happy that my past shaped me to be who I am today.

So let’s sit down and talk about why we should continue to remember what we have, starting from the past and working our way to the present.

Review Your Past

As children, we learn what our parents want us to remember and apply those to our everyday lives. The parents’ responsibility is to pass on what they learned from their lives and teach their child(ren) the rights and wrongs of life.

As kids, we didn’t really pay attention to gratitude. Rather, we were satisfied when we got what we wanted and threw tantrums when the opposite occurred. We continued to be spoiled and expected that the good times would keep rolling. We never wanted these things to stop, yet it does.

How many times have you gotten into arguments with your parent(s) or guardian(s) about not getting that one thing (like a toy) you desired, or how you refused to eat that one vegetable you absolutely abhorred?

They were telling us that we have too many toys at home, along with a long-winded lecture about how we should be content with them and not ask for more. To add, not many children can afford the toys we have, and our parent(s)/guardian(s) told us that money was hard for them at the time.

And what about that vegetable?

Our parents were telling us to think about all of the people who can’t find food out there. They wished they had food but don’t have any because we’re too busy wasting it and not even thinking about those who were struggling to find their next meal.

As a child, you thought that your parent(s)/guardian(s) were the villain(s) as a result of them not complying with your wants, but as they explained to you why you couldn’t have that toy or why you had to eat that vegetable, you started to comprehend everything. Because of that, you learned something important that day.

And that’s one of the reasons why we have to be grateful for what our parent(s)/guardian(s) taught us.

I won’t say that these examples were based on my life, but I can share with you a small life story.

A Quick Personal Story

I admit that I was (and still am) spoiled as I grew up in a household where I had access to almost everything.

There were times when I encountered hardships and had too many crises.

Recently, I started looking and applying for jobs pertaining to my career, but to little avail. Either there were a lot of posts that didn’t intrigue me, or I simply got rejected.

I thought that I was right for some of the jobs, but it turns out I was wrong.

At one point, I wondered if the universe was even supporting my career choices because nothing was happening to me at that time. It deeply infuriated me. I even pondered as to whether or not I should give up on everything and do something that’s more practical than my aspirations such as being a cashier or a waitress.

The negativity plagued me and turned me into a sour person.

I questioned my existence multiple times and wondered when this personal turmoil would cease. As I raged in anger, I ignored the things I currently have and had to be reminded numerous times to always appreciate what I have.

I’d see posts online and would be told by loved ones that a lot of people want what I have but sadly may not ever get.

I will say that I am appreciative to have a family, a house, water, food, etc., but a part of me is missing something, and that's to make a living doing something I love. I feel that this is an essential part of my life because I want to help my family out and pay my bills.

I learned to not get too irritated by this. Yes, a job can make things better, but there are more important things out there. Our top priorities are health, time with family, and pretty much our personal lives. A job is replaceable, but our loved ones and our health are not.

This is a lesson my loved ones shared with me.

I sit here and come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t want to trade this life with another person. I’ve done so many things that I know not many people would do or have yet to do. Where I stand is a reflection of me, not anyone else’s.

As I applied their advice to my lifestyle, I started to understand the world more and appreciate everything. Their message continues to be with me today.

Back to Today

The past is supposed to make us stronger in our present, not tear us apart. As we learn our lessons, we grow to become better versions of ourselves. We make a difference by being who we truly are and contributing positively to our society.

And exercising gratitude towards others is one of them!

This is bragging when I say this, but whenever I ask someone for favors, I would tell them how much I appreciate them for taking the time to fulfill the requests. This makes them feel more confident and secure in their choices as they know that I am grateful.

When we learn how to appreciate the things we have at an early age, we start to develop a mindset of serenity.

Admittedly, this is my current state of mind. It takes away a good portion of my stress and puts me in a position where I can sleep better at night.

I get that it’s normal to want more things in your life (such as a better job, better pay, an expensive car, a mansion, lavish trips, etc.), but I warn you that once you get what you want, you will never stop asking for more; you will never stop being unsatisfied with what you have.

I’m guilty of that, but it’s only human. If you still have some control, it’s never too late to seek contentment with the things you have now than later.

To add, it’s always great to not only welcome the big things in life but also the small things as well. Whether it’s big or small, appreciate the good things as they come. Waking up in the morning may not be a huge thing to some, but to others, it’s a reminder that they still have an opportunity to live the life they want.

If we start showing our appreciation to ourselves and others right this second, we are filling in a void with our positive contributions to society. A bright present will lead to a positive future.

Don’t Forget to Reminisce Once in a While

Sometimes reflecting on your life will lead you to think about a lot of things that are mostly nostalgic. When you think about your upbringing and arrive back to your current setting, it’s usually a good feeling, especially when you have fun memories and the important messages your loved ones passed down to you in mind.

We get so carried away with our lives that we forget to thank our loved ones for helping us out. Please don’t forget to tell them how thankful you are to have them. They will feel loved and appreciated.

As I wrap up my thoughts in this article, I wanted to share with you another thing that one of my loved ones stressed to me: we all live different lives, and every circumstance a person goes through may/may not be different from others. That being said, while we reflect on having everything that we have, it is imperative to never compare ourselves to others. It drains your positivity and your worth, and it can send you to a depressing place. You’re way better than that.

That statement will always apply to each and every one of us, and I believe that it will never be outdated, regardless of the circumstances.

I hope that this message will give you some food for thought, and I kindly encourage you to take all of this with you and apply it to wherever you’re going in life. You never know, it might inspire the person next to you to do the same. I heard kindness spreads.

And remember to look back on your past and think about how it led to your present. You will be grateful for some of the things that your past had taught you as you live. I know the feeling well.

So, what is one thing you’re grateful for? Please comment below.

About The Author:

Ashley Lee is an alumna of the University of

Nevada, Las Vegas where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Film with a minor in Journalism and Media Studies. She is a

freelance filmmaker and journalist who enjoys traveling, audio production, volunteering at local nonprofits, writing, photography, and spending time with her family.

Lee is also a co-host of a local Las Vegas podcast.

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page