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Gratitude

Saturday, February 21, 2009 by Marianne Elliott

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Amiris children

A's happy children

A dear friend in Afghanistan wrote to me this week with this photo of his children. The littlest one was born after I left Ghor, a son after three daughters. My photographs of A and his three girls are some of my all time favorite portraits from Afghanistan. I think they captured something of the gentleness of this lovely man and his deep love for his girls.  It's not a side of Afghan men that we get to see enough of in the West.

In his most recent message he didn't write to me about the food shortage or the harsh winter (more here) in Ghor, he didn't write about the increasing security problems in his province although I know they must be making his work harder by the week. What he did say was:

"My wife M is fine with our girls and our baby boy S. S is growing, he is a very lovely baby like his sisters and all the time he is laughing. We are feeling well and things are going well with us at the moment, hope you are also doing well."

A reminds me of the power of gratitude. Grateful for his family he finds his life to be good, even living in one of the poorest and most dangerous places in the world. Coming home from Ghor I had to learn to let go of guilt by replacing it with gratitude. These days the challenge is more to stay fully aware of my good fortune and remain grateful, every day. If A can do it then surely I can.

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2 Responses to "Gratitude"

  1. John Mullis says:

    an attitude of gratitude – all you need to stay on top. Looking forward to the next extract.

  2. susanna says:

    Such sweet little faces! Seeing his children smiling or laughing must be the best thing about A’s day.
    As for being fully aware of your good fortune and remaining grateful…that’s something I should put into practice each day, too.

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