For those of you who are American, I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. For those who are from other countries, it’s a great time before Christmas comes to remember to give thanks for all of our blessings, both large and small. It’s so easy for many of us to get caught up in the endless wave of consumerism and to crave more, when in fact the greatest lesson is being happy with what we have.
Chelsea Dinsmore, who took over her husband’s organization called Live Your Legend after he died two years ago, posted recently about the importance of gratitude, particularly in times of grief. Her husband was killed from rock falling as they were nearing the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Chelsea had to spend days climbing back down the mountain while her husband’s body was carried down with the group, and yet she chose even in the darkest time to look for whatever gratitude she could find. She shared this poem, which I am in turn re-posting here. I love the idea that not having everything we desire allows us to have something to look forward to, and that going through hard times enables us to build character. It may not feel that way in the moment, but we can often see it later looking back.
In a world of presidential tweets, airbrushed models, sound bites, fake news, and false social media images, it’s a good reminder to know that there are no short-cuts. Instead, we need to remember the basics: Show up, work hard, do your best, be grateful, and be kind to others. In Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Richard Carlson once wrote, “Be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low.” I think of that often when things aren’t going as well. And these days with all the bad news, from horrific shootings to natural disasters to nuclear threats, it’s a test sometimes to be graceful. But gratitude makes that possible.
Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, take some time this holiday season to be grateful for all you have. As you seek your world stage, remember that there is nothing more attractive than a grateful person.
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~