Nanotechnology has been celebrated as a 21st century phenomenon, even though the concepts have been in development since the post-WWII era. Defined as the study and application of very small things, the concept is applied across all aspects of science, engineering, biology, medicine and more.
And “very small” is,…SMALL! For mathematics wizards, the nanometer is one-billioneth (10-9) of a meter. Here are statistics to provide context:
- A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick
- A strand of human DNA is 2.5 nanometers in diameter
- There are 25,400,000 nanometers in one inch
- A human hair is approximately 80,000- 100,000 nanometers wide
- A single gold atom is about a third of a nanometer in diameter
- On a comparative scale, if the diameter of a marble was one nanometer; the diameter of the Earth would be about one meter
- One nanometer is about as long as your fingernail grows in one second
So, what does this topic of nanotechnology have to do with GRATITUDE?
Spiritual teachers talk a lot about gratitude, and for good reason: having a predisposition toward being grateful helps rewire our perspective so that we see more things to be grateful about, which helps tilt our general outlook on life toward the positive.
This is a great practice to develop, but how often do we look beyond being grateful for all the awesome stuff that comes our way and see the really little blessings; the everyday things that, on their own aren’t much to speak of, but when strung together make life a little better?
I refer to things like clean sheets, a warm house (or cool house if it’s hot outside); food in the fridge, clean clothes in the closet, a washer and dryer in your house (no laundromat runs!) – all of these are wonderful plusses in modern life and things we should never take for granted, especially as there are many people in our own neighborhoods who do not enjoy all of these conveniences.
And yet I’m talking about going beyond even these examples.
I am encouraging spiritual adventurers to look to the even more mundane to find pleasure; the opportunities to feel nano-gratitude for things that are on such a small scale that we would be tempted to overlook them.
Here are a few examples:
- being waved into a long line of traffic for an easy merge
- a last-minute cancelled meeting that gives back an hour of the day
- an unexpected compliment
- a shared piece of chocolate (or other treat)
- an unexpected and convenient parking space
- waking up for work and then realizing I get to sleep for 2 more hours 🙂
- finding a hidden can of cat food so the cats can have breakfast & I can go to the store after I drink my coffee
- the feel of a fresh, Spring breeze on my face
- a random favor or kindness
- watching children play
- smelling the air after a rainstorm
In science, nanotechnology achieves almost miraculous results, as highlighted in this video. In our lives, nano-gratitude can work a similar magic.
Happiness and joy are peaks in life, while pain and sorrow are valleys. In between there are the regular, everyday experiences that usually don’t incite much of a response. If we focus only on the peaks and valleys, our lives swing wildly between the extremes.
When we can learn to mine the peace, contentment, and simple pleasures in the small moments of life; we are coating our lives with a magical substance (gratitude) that can string a series of ordinary days into an extraordinarily blessed life.
(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path