There’s a song called “Thank God for Dirty Dishes” that makes the point that if you’re lucky to have enough food to make dirty dishes, you should be grateful.
So instead of grousing about your property
taxes, be thankful you own property. When you have to wait in line at the bank
or are stuck in traffic, just be grateful you have money in the bank and a car
It makes sense, but that doesn’t make it easy.
I have to admit that appreciation has not
been a natural attribute for me. In my more ambitious days when I believed that
excess was not enough, gratitude seemed like a form of surrender and a very
poor life strategy. After all, if you’re satisfied with the way things are,
you’ll never make them better.
What a pity I had to reach my 50s before I
began to appreciate appreciation. I finally began to see that it was
irresponsible and irreverent not to realize how many things I should feel
grateful for. I also came to realize how good it feels to acknowledge how good
I have it.
Real gratitude is much more than politeness,
like saying thank you when someone passes the salt or conveys good wishes; it’s
a deeper psychological state of genuine thankfulness.
Whether we believe whatever good fortune we
have is the product of our own labor and talents, random luck, or a gift from
God, the fact remains that each of us could spend a full day identifying all
the things that merit gratitude.
According to an old proverb, “If you never
learn the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with
I’m still a beginner, but it’s
true; the more I appreciate, the happier I am. That’s a lesson I want my
children to learn.
-- Michael Josephson (www.whatwillmatter.com)