In a 1987 New Year’s Eve lecture, Yogi Bhajan gives a great reminder for gratefulness and compassion. He said:
“The greatest human folly is a very simple mistake of not feeling grateful – not counting the pluses. I was talking to somebody on the telephone to wish her a Happy New Year and she told me, ‘Oh my God this year was terrible.’ “I said, ‘How come? You have eyes you can see through, you have ears you can hear with, your tongue is speaking, what else do you want? Twenty percent of people do not have eyes. There are thousands and hundreds of thousands of people who do not have ears.’
“Sometimes, for very minor things, we become so obnoxious, so rude, so crude, that we say things that are not understandable. We want to close the year 1987 with the idea that we are here, we want to rejoice, we want to be happy. We understand the tragedies, we understand bad things happen to us. But we also understand that, in spite of all the bad things, we are here and being here is a triumph over tragedy. We want to start the new year with a simple idea that our anchor with the Guru and God shall come through. That is what actually Ang Sang Wahe Guru means….
“Happiness lies in compassion. When you are willing to give and you give without expecting any intake or reward, only then are you happy. Happy is not because of money. If money or jewelry or clothes can buy you happiness, or Italian food or French food or Swedish cheese can buy you happiness, then those people who have all that should be happy and everybody else should be unhappy. Two-thirds of rich people are unhappy and [only] one-third of poor people are unhappy. The standard of unhappiness is based on one factual fact – People who do not count their pluses and do not live in gratitude are unhappy. People who just count their pluses and live in gratitude are always happy.”