Gratefulness is a virtue, and yet there are times when it just seems there is nothing you can be thankful for. It has been said countless times, and it will be said even more in the foreseeable future: life has never been this difficult for everyone living on this earth. Perhaps the idea that there is nothing to be really thankful for has crossed your mind.
But is that really the case?
This week, Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving, and even those from other cultures take this time to express gratitude. Yet 2020 has thrown us nothing but curveballs. Should Thanksgiving be cancelled then?
Thinking about this, a quote from Gone With the Wind comes to mind.
Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it’s no worse than it is.Marget Mitchell
Quite frankly, this sometimes does not sit well with me. But I realize those are usually the moments when I feel a sense of entitlement. Moments when my mindset predominantly revolves around the idea “what have I done to deserve this”?
Eventually, I look around, get out of my head, and extend my perception beyond myself. Not to dismiss what others are going through, but indeed, I ought to be thankful that my lot is no worse than it is.
I have a roof above my head. I am healthy and not facing astronomical medical bills. I have a job when unemployment rates are skyrocketing.
In spite of missing the adventures of travel, I find myself with the time to write letters, reconnect with old friends, and make my home more comfortable.
With all sorts of disasters wreaking havoc on other people’s lives, I am given the chance to help and do something meaningful.
Even in the smallest of things, we can express gratitude.
The first bite of your favorite dessert…be grateful you can still enjoy it.
The cool sensation of the pillow on your cheek as you lay down to sleep.
That phone you use to talk to friends and buy things online.
That book that keeps you company during your downtime.
The delivery person who takes away the chore of having to go out and buy food or other items.
As I write this, I am reminded that gratitude is a habit. It is cultivated. Practiced.
Even when it seems like the world is burning up in flames around us, we can still practice gratitude. And when we do, we just might find our lives a bit more bearable. Happier even.
Today, I urge you to spend a few minutes thinking about what you can be thankful for.
I leave you with wise words from Charles Dickens.