Thanksgiving is around the corner and supposedly it’s all about family, friends and being grateful. We do it out of habit, going through the motions, making it just another cliché.
In truth we often only become grateful when life calls upon us and shows us that others have it much worse. When we are reminded by a close call that life is not a given, that our circumstances are often a privilege some are devoid of. When we walk along the streets, see a homeless man and think to ourselves: “By God, am I lucky!” Or when a catastrophe hits, which unfortunately of late seems to be common place, then and only then, we say we are so grateful it’s not us, and pray it will never be us.
Life spares no one his share of grief, but when we become more aware of how fortunate we are, even in dire circumstances, (because let’s face it, it could always be worse) we come to be grateful.
Being grateful is a step closer to being happy. Happy that we have a warm place to sleep in, maybe just for one night for some. For a warm meal or any at all. For the people in our lives, even if it’s a stranger who has handed us a couple of bucks. For simply being able to take one more breath.
Being grateful is actually something that we should practice just as some practice meditation. It takes the focus away from ourselves. It makes us compare ourselves to others less fortunate, and often this is the only way to see the hard truth, and thus, gratitude kicks in.
As I type this, I know I’m lucky to have a computer to vent and share my ruminations. Worth probably nothing but a few words of encouragement. There is nothing I say that hasn’t been said before, but maybe I can reach some human being at the right time, a click away from the verge of despair. A reminder that there is always something good in our lives.
Let’s make it a habit to look beyond what is wrong, focus on what is right and be grateful for every positive thing we have. There is always something even in the midst of a storm. Yep, another cliché, but one that holds true.