From €8.99

I went for a buffet lunch last week. The sign on the window read, “From €8.99”.

My reaction, 1: “That’s the lowest price, printed in large font as a marketing hook.”

My reaction, 2: “Okay, so what’s the price for me?”

The €8.99 was for under-16s and over-65s. A €9.99 price was for students and unemployed. Everyone else, €10.99.

My reaction, 3: “Typical. I pay the most.”

Something somewhere in my brain piped up at that instant.

It told me, “You’re thinking about this all wrong.”

So I tried to think about this differently.

I am not under-16, so by that criteria I am a mature adult.

I am not over-65, so by that criteria I am in the prime years of my life.

I am neither a student nor unemployed, so by that criteria I am educated and working.

And I realised I could be grateful for all these things.

That I am a mature adult, educated and working, in the prime years of my life.

And not just that, but I could be grateful too that there is good food available.

Grateful that there are good people willing to cook it for me.

Grateful that I had enough money in my pocket to pay for it.

And grateful that there was peace in the streets for me to walk there and back.

Gratitude is a gift that comes from within.