This I Believe
I have always loved Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is simple. No candy. No presents. No disappointment. The only purpose is to gather together to appreciate the world and each other. Thanksgiving is about gratitude.
And I believe in gratitude.
Gratitude for who I am. Gratitude for all I have. Gratitude for the family that helped shape me and for the family I am helping to shape. Gratitude for old friends who have lived my stories, and for new friends who have yet to hear them. Gratitude for the assurance that all of these people will always be by my side.
Think about it. From the deep thanks we give to God, to the quick (yet sincere) thank you to the check out person at the grocery store, feeling, expressing and receiving gratitude makes everyone feel good. And people who feel good, do good.
Like most parents, one of the first things I tried to teach my children was to say thank you. Sure, in the beginning it might have been so other people would say how polite my kids were. But I really did it because I am happier when people value who I am and what I do. I notice when my children say thank you and when they don’t. It is not because I am keeping track of their manners; it is because it makes me feel appreciated.
Of course, real happiness comes from giving thanks. For the more I notice and am consciously grateful for all that is right, the less I am held back by what I think is wrong. The more I focus on all the wonderful things in life, (and that includes the high school girl at the grocery store check out working to save up for her first car or for college) the less the little things matter.
14 years ago I moved to what I think is a beautiful place to look at, and a remarkable place to live. Not everyone might think that, but I do. There is water everywhere and a sense of community from back in time. From the day we moved here I have given myself high-fives for having found such a place and for having the good sense to live and raise my family here. I am grateful every day to God, and to my husband, and to the realtor who showed us our house, and to the man who suggested we move here. Honestly.
Some people may think I am just an optimist. Others might think I am just lucky. I just think I am grateful. And for that, I give thanks.