Much of the context LeeAnn was speaking of was that of the ward. It's really easy to under appreciate a ward, that's definitely true. I mean we start taking things for granted so often and we're convinced that there's somebody better out there for us to spend our time with and such. Really we don't value the time we have or the people we're around enough. I mean think about the wonderful blessing that each day is. We have a new day every day to make ourselves better, to find joy, to learn, to grow, and to bless the lives of others. It is such a great thing and we definitely do not appreciate it enough. We see too much monotony in our life, when every day of our life is fantastic. I have a semi joking saying that I put on my Facebook profile that says "Every day of my life is fantastic because I get to spend every day with myself and I'm fantastic." And I do believe that whole heartedly, but my reasoning is really the key.
When we really understand and appreciate who we are, that's something that's very special. I know many people out there are not of the same belief system as myself, but I testify that we are children of a Heavenly Father who loves us dearly. As His children, that makes us pretty special. We are the literal offspring of Deity. How amazing and special is that! How wonderful does that make us! I in no way mean that to lift ourselves up in pride, but rather it is something to be so incredibly grateful for. Each and every one of God's children is so special for God would not create something that was not wonderful. We all have our flaws, but we are still children of God and that makes us absolutely spectacular.
The key to appreciating that is to continue finding such value in others. I know one of the main things I do during the passing of the Sacrament on Sundays, is I look around at all of the individuals in the congregation and I think about how special it is that our Savior was willing to sacrifice everything to make sure that they could have the blessing of returning to live with Him. When we find this value in others it's amazing the value we begin to find in ourselves and the power we have to create differences in this life.
I suppose that's why, like LeeAnn, I'm such a big fan of willingly participating as part of the whole. Too often we avoid the group, whether it be just a generalized group or it's some sort of organization like our ward. We have value and we can add a lot to the ward. Also, there are so many things that those individuals in the ward can add to us. I almost feel guilty because of the fact my sense of gratitude has lead me to see how profound of a difference so many individuals have upon me that I am drawn to these individuals because I know of the difference they can continue to make in my life.
So take the opportunity to participate. Go out and learn what you can from others. Take the time to teach another those things you value and that are important to you. I think you'll be impressed about the difference it will begin to make in your life.