i started this blog post ages ago, because of this quote i found:

‎"Absence of gratitude is the mark of the narrow, uneducated mind. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge and the ignorance of self sufficiency."

- Gordon B. Hinckley

beautiful woman from the leprosy colony, picture by one of our interns, katrina

the thing is, as i now reflect on myself, i believe i knew nothing of gratitude back when i started on this post. i'm by no means saying that i know every dimension, angle, and all depth when it comes to gratitude. however, what i am saying is that my gratitude has lately covered uncharted territory in my synapses. the other day i wrote out a list of what i was grateful for based on what i had seen, and instead of complicating my list with superfluous explanations, i'll just share it with you all. enjoy.

i am grateful for:
  • the knowledge that i have to know how to write my own name
  • dexterity, mobility, and use of all of my limbs, joints, phalanges, feet, ankles, mouth, and face
  • the fact that i also still have all of those parts
  • parents who didn't have to choose between feeding themselves or other children, and keeping me
  • parents, period. and ones that love and nurture me to boot
  • the gospel in my life
  • family--grandparents and cousins who love and support me
  • forgiveness
  • sight
  • knowledge of the rules of health, and access to health care
  • money and the ability to travel
  • my experiences in life
  • all of the people who love, support, and pray for me in my behalf
  • technology and photography
  • time
  • smiles, with or without teeth
  • giggles and laughs
  • personality
  • agency
  • prayer
  • food
  • access to water (more on this later)
this may seem simple or even elementary, but that's totally fine with me. my heart swelled as i realized all of the things i've been given in this life, and all of the love that we are all constantly subjected to. the children and people that i interact with daily also see all of the things they've been given in life, and are constantly expressing their gratitude for things like shoes made just for their feet, learning how to make toys/picture frames/flower pots out of trash, etc.

trash toys, pots, and picture frames--picture by one of our interns, allie rae
hands of one of the women from the leprosy colony, picture by one of our interns, katrina

much love from india,


Christy said...

Hey! We were blogging at the same time! (That's why I'm creepily commenting so fast.)

I'm excited to hear more about your experiences and what all you're doing. You know I've got tons of questions!

I love the pictures. Beautiful!

Viviana said...

We have too been reflecting on gratitude lately because of you. how beautiful it is to have you in our lives even if it is only in pictures... we are do happy you have the opportunity to love and be loved, to touch the lives of others and be touched by others. we pray you are protected.

thatonegirl said...

I love you. A lot. I am grateful to know you, to gain knowledge through your outlook on life and to be able to be friends with such an incredible woman.

Stacie Jensen said...

Brook, you are great. Seriously. I love reading your blog. Here is the real question- how do I get on one of these trips? I was a community health major, you know!

Mimi said...

Brook, I LOVE reading this stuff. It's so interesting and humbling and amazing to hear about everything you do in India. I have a lot more things to be consciously thankful for today. Thanks for writing!

brook dorff said...

thanks for the love, guys. stacie, i'm here with HELP International. how did i forget you were a community health major??? come with me!!