“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” -Cynthia Ozick
How often do you pause to appreciate what you have? Showing gratitude is usually easier to do when things are going great in life, like getting a promotion, a brand new car, being in love and everything seems to be going our way. We grow used to our blessings and begin taking them for granted without realizing that the simple things in life are really gifts. As we approach the Thanksgiving season, and gather with family to enjoy good food and share what we are thankful for, let’s think about how Thanksgiving can become more than just a holiday, but a daily lifestyle which incorporates gratitude.
Here’s a quick list of things we sometimes overlook:
- Good Health- Without our health intact, it can be much more difficult to do anything. Think of how miserable we feel when we have a simple cold or flu. Now think about how you would feel if you lived with a type of illness that impaired your way of living every day. Good health is important.
- Food- Outside of tasting so good, it nourishes your body, allowing you to have strength to function each day. Without any nourishment, our bodies would begin to breakdown.
- A Home- A place that you can call your own, whether you live with family or alone, it’s yours to return to each day. It protects you from the elements (rain, wind, heat, or snow) and allows you to have somewhere to sleep comfortably at night or anytime of the day.
- Education- We have an opportunity to learn freely in an environment that is conducive to growth. Having an education provides knowledge, discipline and structure to help us become productive people in society and it also a means to gain employment to support yourself or family. Just think of people living in countries where it is a danger to get an education, like Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who was shot for simply wanting to go to school.
- Our senses-(sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) - There are people who are born without or have lost one of their senses but live productive lives. Can you imagine just not being able to have one of them? Which one would you be willing to go without right now?
- Unexpected acts of kindness from family, friends and even strangers – Several years ago, I got into a car accident when someone hit me and then drove off. Complete strangers came to my aid, helped me out of my car, called the police and stayed with me until the police, and my family arrived. They even spoke with the tow truck driver to make sure I was not charged for storage until I was able to get my car fixed. Moments like these remind you there are still some good people in the world and some might even say guardian angels are looking out for you.
- Challenging experiences – There was a time in life where you experienced painful heartbreaks and set backs causing you to lose confidence in yourself, your faith and wondering why this happened to you. But when you think about where you are today, how you have grown and become stronger from those experiences, you can truly be grateful to have learned the lessons to become a better person from those challenges.
Video of the week- When you have a moment, view a 5 minute video below of Oprah visiting a family in a Mumbai district of India. This family was grateful and showed a sense of happiness in their circumstance. It would be extremely easy for them to be angry, bitter or depressed about their conditions, but check them out:
Reading this list may have caused you to think about some of the simple things you are thankful for. I honestly could have went on and on, but feel free to share your thoughts in the "Leave a Reply" section and let’s keep this list going!
P.S. Encourage your friends and family by sharing this, invite others to subscribe! You can just send them to www.assuredgrace.com where they can enter their name and email address at the bottom of the page.
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