Leeds School of Business

Dear Domna: Gratitude in the life of a college student

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I woke up one morning to a text message from my father of a Facebook post he had found from the “Syrian Revolution 2011” Facebook page — included was a picture of my brother’s and my baby photo covered in bomb debris.

It was taken by a photographer at my aunt’s house in Jobar, Syria. She was forced to flee the country before her house was bombed. If you search “Jobar” on Google Images, most of the photos you will find are related to war and bombing. Seeing this photo as I lay in my full-sized Tempur-Pedic bed, in my own room and my own apartment, before I left for work, changed my mood for the rest of the day. Here I am, in the United States, pursuing a college education, with a job, a closet full of clothes and a car. I am sitting on a peaceful patio while typing this article on my Macbook laptop, as my blood relatives on the other side of the world are fleeing their homes to avoid being there they get bombed.

For those of you who are relatively uninformed on what’s going on in Syria, I can give you a quick synopsis. The Syrian Revolution, or civil war, is a matter of the people against the government. The government essentially does not care about the Syrian people, and has tried to control them in every way possible. President Assad is the dictator of Syria who is murdering his own country. The people in the country must either move and leave everything behind, or risk being killed, sent to jail, and have the government prevent them from getting necessary supplies like food and electricity.

I feel very grateful to be in the United States, safe and privileged. Although sometimes I get anxious about finances and stress out about paying my rent, balancing my job and my schoolwork and my student loans, I know I am not alone. I am writing this as a reminder to not only myself, but to those who are financially stable and those who are not — we have an embarrassment of riches. No one here has to worry about their houses getting bombed, how to contact their relatives in jail and question if they’re even alive, not having a hometown anymore because it has become a literal war zone, or the next time they’re going to be able to afford a meal.

As college students, maybe some of us don’t have a comma in our bank accounts, and maybe we eat microwavable food at least once a day. Maybe we can’t buy new clothes because our other expenses get in the way. But think about this: As college students we get to look at green grass and trees every day, listen to the birds chirp in the morning and have several different outfits to choose from. We have clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, easy access to a bike, a car, a bus, or a train, a shower, a toothbrush, a computer — the list goes on! Even if you feel “poor,” you’re not really poor. Your problems are miniscule in the big picture. We’re all guilty of complaining about the things we feel aren’t going the way we’d like in our lives, and I’m definitely no angel, but keep in mind that we have it really good here.

Start your day with either a mental or physical list of everything you’re grateful for — whether that ranges from your health to something physical or materialistic. Gratitude leads to abundance, people! The more you are grateful for, the more good things will come! It’s like the law of attraction or power of manifestation; the frequencies you send out into the world will be the frequencies you receive. The more you are consciously aware of your thankfulness, the more things you have to be thankful for will come your way.

Contact Staff Writer Domna Dali at domna.dali@colorado.edu.

About Domna Dali

Domna Dali writes relatable, anecdotal advice under the column “Dear Domna.” She is studying journalism and digital media. Originally from the East Coast, she loves the mountains as much as she loves the ocean and New York City.

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