Thanksgiving is in a few weeks and it made me want to go to the Memorial Park where my parents are buried.
One of the things that I learned from my relationship with them was to try and be grateful under almost any circumstance because we are given situations that can be challenging sometimes.
However, if you look at it through the right set of goggles you'll see that they are an opportunity to grow...if you want to grow!
Now this could be a momentary thing like my pet peeve when some jerk cuts you off on the road and instead of giving him the finger you just control yourself and talk yourself through it.
It's not easy to do, but that's what makes it a challenge.
I read this story:
There was a man who was known to be very humble and he was doing something with another person who was very narcissistic.
Anyway during a situation where the narcissist was very annoyed with the man for something he did wrong, this man looked at her and said "thank you for your blessing."
The lady had no idea how to respond to that other than to ask "what do you mean?"
He replied that he was thanking her for pointing out a flaw in him.
His humility allowed him to accept his flaw being pointed out by a flawed individual and he appreciated it!
Now this is not to say that we're all going to be Saints like this man!
However, it is to say that with humility, gratitude appears naturally. So show appreciation for who you are, what you have, and who is around you.
When I went to see my mother and father's resting place, it had been a very long time since I visited them. Seeing their names was such a bittersweet experience because my dad died 27 years ago and mom about 8 years ago.
It just made me realize how much I was grateful for them for all the things that they had given me, and I don't mean materially.
I have also lost a spouse and when something like that happens there's really no where to run to get away from your mind or your emotions. But again, as hard as it can be it's a situation that you can learn from...if you choose to.
In both instances, the message is to appreciate everyone in your life and be grateful for who they are to you and who you to them, because we all don't know how long we will all be together.
I'm not trying to make this somber, however I do want to point out how important being grateful is and not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day.
So, below is a list to consider...
Here are sixty things to be grateful for in our lives*:
1. Your parents – for giving birth to you. Because if there is no them, there will not be you.
2. Your family – for being your closest kin in the world.
3. Your friends – for being your companions in life.
4. Sense of sight – for letting you see the colors of life.
5. Sense of hearing – for letting you hear trickle of rain, the voices of your loved ones, and the harmonious chords of music.
6. Sense of touch – for letting you feel the texture of your clothes, the breeze of the wind, the hands of your loved ones.
7. Sense of smell – for letting you smell scented candles, perfumes, and beautiful flowers in your garden.
8. Sense of taste – for letting you savor the sweetness of fruits, the saltiness of seawater, the sourness of pickles, the bitterness of bitter gourd, and the spiciness of chili.
9. Your speech – for giving you the outlet to express yourself.
10. Your heart – for pumping blood to all the parts of your body every second since you were born; for giving you the ability to feel.
11. Your lungs – for letting you breathe so you can live.
12. Your immune system – for fighting viruses that enter your body. For keeping you in the pink of your health so you can do the things you love.
13. Your hands – so you can type on your computer, flip the pages of books, and hold the hands of your loved ones.
14. Your legs – for letting you walk, run, swim, play the sports you love, and curl up in the comfort of your seat.
15. Your mind – for the ability to think, to store memories, and to create new solutions.
16. Your good health – for enabling you to do what you want to do and for what you’re about to do in the future.
17. Your school – for providing a environment conducive to learning and growing.
18. Your teachers – for their dedication and for passing down knowledge to you.
19. Tears – for helping you express your deepest emotions.
20. Disappointment – so you know the things that matter to you most.
21. Fears – so you know your opportunities for growth.
22. Pain – for you to become a stronger person.
23. Sadness – for you to appreciate the spectrum of human emotions.
24. Happiness – for you to soak in the beauty of life.
25. The Sun – for bringing in light and beauty to this world.
26. Sunset – for a beautiful sight to end the day.
27. Moon and Stars – for brightening up our night sky.
28. Sunrise – for a beautiful sight to start the morning.
29. Rain – for cooling you when it gets too warm and for making it comfy to sleep in on weekends.
30. Snow – for making winter even more beautiful.
31. Rainbows – for a beautiful sight to look forward to after rain.
32. Oxygen – for making life possible.
33. The earth – for creating the environment for life to begin.
34. Mother nature – for covering our world in beauty.
35. Animals – for adding to the diversity of life.
36. Internet – for connecting you and others despite the physical space between you.
37. Transport – for making it easier to commute from one place to another.
38. Mobile phones – for making it easy to stay in touch with others.
39. Computers – for making our lives more effective and efficient.
40. Technology – for making impossible things possible.
41. Movies – for providing a source of entertainment.
42. Books – for adding wisdom into your life.
43. Blogs – for connecting you with other like-minded people.
44. Shoes – for protecting your feet when you are out.
45. Time – for a system to organize yourself and keep track of activities.
46. Your job – for giving you a source of living and for being a medium where you can add value to the world.
47. Music – for lifting your spirits when you’re down and for filling your life with more love.
48. Your bed – for you to sleep comfortably in every night.
49. Your home – for a place you can call home.
50. Your soul mate – for being the one who understands everything you’re going through.
51. Your best friends – for being there for you whenever you need them.
52. Your enemies – for helping you uncover your blind spots so you can become a better person.
53. Kind strangers – for brightening up your days when you least expect it.
54. Your mistakes – for helping you to improve and become better.
55. Heartbreaks – for helping you mature and become a better person.
56. Laughter – for serenading your life with joy.
57. Love – for letting you feel what it means to truly be alive.
58. Life’s challenges – for helping you grow and become who you are.
59. Life – for giving you the chance to experience all that you’re experiencing, and will be experiencing in time to come.
And last but not least…
#60: YOU! For being who you are and touching the world with your present
So to anyone who is reading this, somehow your eyes found this page and even though I don't know you or even if I do, know I am grateful for the opportunity to share my gratitude for you taking a moment to read this.
May you and your family and all your friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving together and may it go on for many, many, more years together!
With gratitude, your friend-