Benjamin Franklin wrote, “For the want of a horse the rider was lost, For the want of a rider the battle was lost, For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost, And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
Most people read this as a question of being prepared down to the last detail, but it could also be read as a lesson in becoming grateful for everything in life, especially the little things. Do you appreciate that your car started this morning? That your alarm worked? That the sun came up and played on your window? Every little thing can be seen as magic, we just have to remember how to be thankful.
And sometimes, it’s the darkness itself that helps us remember how lucky we are.
In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, based on a true story, the protagonist is forced to raise his son, survive a full-time investment banking internship and live in total poverty at the same time. At a certain moment, he’s preparing for an important presentation and the light bulb on his projector doesn’t work. This will mean total ruin for him. He spends his last pennies on a new bulb, and as he turns the projector on with his son in the darkened homeless shelter, you can feel him praying for the bulb to work.
When the light comes on, we all cry with joy.