With so many uncertainties facing this country as 2008 nears an end, Thanksgiving Day is an even more important holiday than usual. In a time when we can fret how bad things may get, we need a day to remind ourselves how good we actually have it.
Gratitude has always been an attitude of choice. Each of us has reasons to feel sorry for our circumstances, as well as reasons to be humbled by our undeserved good fortune. Our outlook will be determined by the list we choose to define ourselves. If we stare up the ladder at the amenities of life we do not yet possess or have lost—those things our consumer culture says we deserve and should demand—we will surely dwell in disappointment and discontent.
We need at least one day a year to focus our vision on the rungs below our own. For every thing we lack, someone else has less. For every challenge we face, someone faces a bigger one. For every burden we carry, others carry more.
Gratitude is an attitude of choice. And silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone. —DR