I know many people are having tough times right now and they don’t feel they have a lot to be thankful for. They’re right; things are really hard where they are and there may not be “a lot” to be thankful for – but I have to believe there is a least something that is good in their lives. For instance- A passer-by let a family sit in his warm van while firefighters tried to save their burning home. They were thankful for the kindness because their children didn’t have to stand in the street on a 20 degree day. Although her home and all belongings were a total loss, the mother spoke of things she was thankful for; her children and husband were safe, her pets were rescued. These were good things in the midst of disaster.
In Madame Blueberry (a VeggieTales movie), Madame Blueberry’s tree-home is catapulted to the ground and smashed as a result of her insatiable desire for more and more things. She realizes she should change her attitude and become thankful for what she has so she sings the “Thankfulness Song”. One line from the song is “Because a thankful heart is a happy heart I’m glad for what I have.”
A thankful heart is also a healthy heart. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, who passed away in 2012, coined the phrase “Make Gratitude your Attitude”. Ziglar said “Some people have a chronic case of Stinkin’ Thinkin’ that keeps them from taking the first step to gratitude and happiness. People who won’t take step number one will never take step number two.” He goes on to say ingrates and bitter people pay for their attitudes through poor heath in their bodies and minds and that “The healthiest of all human emotions is gratitude.”
Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones sings “You can’t always get what you want.” Oftentimes, that’s a good thing. When I think about unpleasant things I don’t have, that makes me thankful. I’ve been spared from many of the troubles I’ve seen in other people’s lives. This mercy causes me to respond with thankfulness. Thankfulness can be expressed through helping others, encouraging others, giving to others and praying for others. When I become grateful, my “complaint factory” shuts down and my “joy reactor” goes into full swing. It’s not that I’m stoic, or that I live in self-denial. I’m also not a “Polly Anna” by any stretch of the imagination. I actually tend to be a bit sarcastic, cynical and pragmatic. However, thankfulness does something to squelch those tendencies and causes me to launch into spontaneous optimism!
It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly how many choices an individual makes in a day; every person is different. Each of us makes decisions ranging in nature from life changing to minor routine choices. The number of choices is estimated to be in the thousands. There are a variety of factors that affect our choices. It shouldn’t be difficult to see how attitudes affect choices. If I wake up and immediately focus on everything I don’t have or everything that went wrong the day before, how do you think that will affect the choices I make and my interactions with others in the course of my day? But – if my waking and walking thoughts create in me an “attitude of gratitude”, I will be a blessing rather than a burden and I will truly experience and exude Happy Thanks Living!
© 2016 Curt Savage Media