Taken for granted By Daniela Cohen

Taken for granted

By Daniela Cohen

Published on Tue, Jun 09 2009 by Daniela Cohen
I was teaching the expression, “taken for granted,” in my class today, trying to explain what it means. I summed it up to the word, appreciation; valuing what we have.

Unfortunately, we don’t always realize what that is until the things we value are gone.

It could be your health. Last night, I woke up to find that getting out of bed had become difficult due to an unexpected obstacle: a sudden, excruciating pain in my right foot. Hobbling around my room, I began to panic, wondering if I’d be able to go to work the next day.� I was rudely awakened to the fact that I never think about what my feet do for me, what it would mean if they stopped working.

It could be the ever-ready smile of the person in the coffee shop across the street, without which your day would be considerably less bright; the earnest look in the eyes of one of the students sitting across from you in the classroom; the bubbly laugh of another.�

It could be the ever-ready smile of the person in the coffee shop across the street, without which your day would be considerably less bright; the earnest look in the eyes of one of the students sitting across from you in the classroom; the bubbly laugh of another.�

These are things that have become an integral part of everyday life.

Having a loving family is one of the biggest joys for most people.� Listening to your mother’s concerned voice; your sister’s jokes that never fail to hit the target; the memory of your grandfather’s hand as you greet him.

A student of mine, now afar, lost his younger sister in a car accident. There are no words for this, no way to soothe the shock, the pain.� Just last week, I had to watch another student dealing with the loss of his grandfather’s death. It had been coming for a while. It reminded me of what happened with my own grandfather. Even when you’re prepared, you never really are.

Saying goodbye to my students who left today, I couldn’t hold back the tears. Even when it’s not as final as death, the separation still hurts. People come in and out of your life so quickly, sometimes it seems as though just when you begin to understand their value, they are no longer there.

There is no way to avoid the inevitable. It seems we can only commit to living each day with appreciation, for the little and big things that we may not usually notice, for the many special people who transform the landscape of our lives during the time they are with us.


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