25 Nov 2009 An Attitude of Gratitude
In our household and business we really try to maintain a grateful spirit but like most people, we are no where near perfect and always fail to maintain that thankful mindset for a whole week, let alone an entire year.
The photo included in this post is of a print that is displayed in our office conference room and serves to remind us of our need to be thankful. However, since we don’t use that room on a daily basis, it is relatively easy to take our many blessings for granted.
For most people Thanksgiving is more than over eating, over drinking, football games and planning the crack of dawn assault at the local mall for the annual shopping ritual we’ve come to know as Black Friday. That is the beauty about Thanksgiving is that it creates a time and day when all of us pause for just a moment to give thanks and appreciation to whomever or whatever we believe deserves the credit. I sincerely try to speak to my God on a daily basis but I admit on most days it is praying for what I want and need, rather than giving thanks for what He has already provided.
Prosperity Is All Relative
I am not talking about the relative who annually falls asleep on your couch, soon after the turkey dinner. I mean prosperity when compared to most of the people in this world.
So many people today are dying senselessly, suffering from illnesses that will not be healed, and hunger that will never be satisfied. Most of us on the other hand, live in relative peace, enjoy better health than we deserve considering how poorly we take care of ourselves and will end the day taking some type of over the counter medication because we have over eaten, again.
Personally I am blessed with a terrific wife, good kids and a nice place we call home. We also have family, as well as wonderful friends and neighbors who have supported us through some challenging times.
Professionally, we are grateful to be self employed and not have to work some place where we have to constantly watch our backs or the time clock. We have made some great friends both as vendors and customers and we are in an enviable position to be able to personally choose both. Our business grows at a time when so many others are shrinking and/or closing their doors, permanently; so we have a very good idea on how fortunate and blessed we are.
All in all, I don’t have much to complain about, and I usually don’t but the absence of grumbling, is not the same thing as gratitude, is it?
Gratitude and Generosity
I think they go hand in hand and if we feel sincere gratitude, we can’t help but also feel a need to share with others. Regardless of how little we may think we have, we certainly have much more than many. I am not just referring to starving nations on the other side of the globe; I am talking about the hungry families who quite possibly live within walking distance of where we each enjoy relative prosperity and comfort.
With unemployment being at near record levels and so many people in dire financial straits, finding a person or a family who needs help this holiday season is not a difficult task. If we each keep our eyes, ears and hearts open, the opportunity to share what we ourselves have been given will become apparent to us and we will be expressing our gratitude the best possible way.
Have a wonderful Thanks-giving.