‘Thank you’ for the science that I am doing everyday.

Few weeks ago, I was in Milwaukee downtown outside a beautiful park. I was crossing the street with a water bottle in my hand. I saw a big trash can in the street outside the park. I was trashing an empty water bottle and an old man around seventy approached me and said, “thank you.”
I was sitting on a bench as I was waiting my kids to come there. He started chatting with me and I came to know that he was a retired truck driver, he also did a little bit work in municipal office in his youth age. In our chatting, we went deeper, and he told me how he transformed his life. I love to listen to people, that’s what make human evolution so aspiring.
In our conversation, I knew that he comes to park every week to do some volunteering work because that inspires him to become a complete responsible human being. He gets opportunities to serve people.
He spent a significant portion of his youth life as a truck driver outside home. During that time, he had an ailing wife at home, not severe but not quite healthy too. During her lonely time at home, she used to come in the same park and enjoy the nature.
She passed away seven years ago, he told me, since then he comes almost two to three times in a week and spends time in the park.
He started driving truck early in his life, so he did not even finish high school.
He mentioned that he did not appreciate his wife during her time what she did for him because he was out of home most of the time and focused much on driving truck.
After listening him, I realized why he was saying ‘thank you’ to most of the passers-by who were trashing the stuffs in the bin.
In our short conversation I learned a very good lesson about life, appreciation, and gratitude.

We are human and we tend to forget to appreciate things until they are gone. Everything becomes precious after that and we live in shadow of those gone moments.
This is an unhealthy way to live a life. Most of us learn these things in a hard way.
We always strive for more recognition in life and most of the time we mix recognition and appreciation without much thinking.
But there is a crucial difference between the two. We become pretty happy when we get recognition, that is normal, and we should be happy.
But remember this, recognition is short-lived in many cases. Everybody praises you when you achieve something outstanding. When you win a soccer tournament or any event, you will receive a bunch of recognitions.
But just think for a second, same people will boo you if you miss the penalty kick that led to lose the game.
On the other hand, appreciation is permanent, it is deeper than recognition.
It is unconditional.
Appreciation is not just for changing what is outside of us but for finding out what is inside of us.
It comes from humbleness, and from daily mind rituals.

Most of the time we forget to appreciate little things in life that actually make us unique species on the planet.
Be the person to appreciate the passing moments in life in its real form. Don’t wait to appreciate until rainfall, learn to appreciate the cloud or even sunlight moments.
Make a habit to appreciate your partner when he/she prepares food for you.
Appreciate your dad and mom when they share their life experiences to you.
Appreciate your daughter when she calls you on weekend to check you.
When we express gratitude, we create the state of present and transform our emotional pain to joy and happiness.
If we don’t express appreciation or ‘thank you’ to others, we freeze our mind, we block our mental capacity and it prevents us from developing a positive attitude.
“Thank you” is the only way to multiply the blessings in our life.
When we say thank you, we control our body and mind but if we don’t express it, then something or somebody else will control us.
Others express in us what we express in ourselves.

There is an outstanding research on this topic that says gratitude makes us happy, declutters our mind, and brings serene thoughts.
Praise and complement everyone for anything like food, appearance, work, family, and achievements. This is another way to practice gratitude.
Human craves praise. It is one of the tools to empower human beings.

When I was kid my maternal uncle taught me where the US is on the world map and said then that Ronald Regan is the President of America. He taught me at that little age that America is the most powerful nation on earth. Now I am in US and work for the progress of humanity through science and technology. I still remember my uncle’s memory, but he passed away many years ago when I was in high school.
When I appreciate my uncle, I don’t remember his words or phrases, my mind brings only his pictures and images. His image in my mind is worth a thousand words for me. When I express gratitude, I close my eyes and say ‘thank you’, at that moment I generate a lot of positive vibration that flows in my body.

Develop a habit to cultivate gratitude.
We can practice gratitude on anything: our body, plants, vegetables, animals, sunrise, smile, and even every single breath.
Recently, I watched a TED talk by BJ Miller, a renowned palliative care physician and a death expert.
While watching him I realized something unusual, I stopped for a moment on my body organs; hands and legs, lungs and heart, eyes and mouth. I saw them, I heard them, I felt them, appreciated them deeper, and moved away.
BJ Miller is a triple amputee due to an electrocution accident in college.
Gratitude is nothing but a positive perspective on everything that we have, we feel, and we experience.
The retired truck driver taught me, “There is one best way to appreciate anything in life. Find the best way to close your eyes and say, ‘thank you’. Then never deviate from it and make it a habit.”
Remember, ‘thank you’ will work when nothing else will work for you.
‘Thank you’ for all the people devoted to science.
And ‘thank you’ for your time.
-Yam Timsina