Gratitude Is The Attitude

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf published in the Albert Lea Tribune week of November 24th.

 

There are days when it is hard to be thankful. We might get up on the wrong side of the bed. We might not feel very good. We might have had an altercation with someone or we don’t look forward to our to-do list for the day.

Those are the days we miss the sunshine or the beauty of the snow. Those are the days where we fail to see the smile on our children’s faces or miss smelling the aroma of our morning coffee.

Those are the days we forget that in spite of everything the sun is shining or the snow that is falling is beautiful. Our children and family love us no matter our mood and the fact that we are able to do our to-do list should be cause for gratefulness.

I, the same as everyone else, miss many of these things on a daily basis because I forget to be thankful.

Therapists and TV hosts and everyday people sing the praises of keeping a gratitude journal through trying circumstances. We ignore their advice even though many have done it and have said it changes their lives.

This is the week of Thanksgiving Day. It is a week where we remember to be thankful for all we have. As I think of the week I think of those who are experiencing trying circumstances right now in their lives. And yet I listen to them and hear them saying thank you.

Recently I followed and prayed for a family on Facebook. I didn’t know them, but their story left me in tears. Their young school-age son was in a coma for many days after an accident at home. There were many people praying from as far away as Europe. There were prayer vigils and private prayers. This boy’s mother reached out to others and documented her broken heart. Her son died.

Yet, after his death, she posted her thankfulness for having him in her life. For being able to hold his hand and talk to him the days he lay silent. She was thankful for prayers. This boy’s life touched many far and near during these past few weeks. And his mother’s words touched my heart and reminded me in the midst of sorrow there is a reason to be grateful. If she could do it, we all can.

I find thankfulness in many of my friends who are also suffering loss and illness. They are grateful for each new day. I learn so much about being thankful from them.

The Thanksgiving holiday has changed so much from the time I was young. Church was a given and family dinners and family time was sacred. Today it seems we squeeze in our thankfulness in-between shopping and football. To many it is just another day.

Thankfulness lends itself to compassion. Perhaps we would be a kinder, more caring nation if we practiced being thankful on a daily basis and passed that and compassion on to those young minds that are being influenced by brutal media and crime today.

The world stops when there is a crisis. Maybe the world should stop for one day for all of us to look around and view what we have to be thankful for. If those in need and those in dire circumstances can find the thankfulness in their heart, so should those of us that have been blessed with plenty.

Maybe if the world stopped for a day to think and feel thankful, perhaps it would carry on all through the year.  It could change our own outlook on life. Do you suppose that is what our ancestors hoped for that first Thanksgiving Day?

What I need to say today and every day is simple. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving Day.

 

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