It’s hard to overestimate the difference being a thankful person can have on our lives-and, by extension, the lives of the folks with whom we come in contact each day. Being thankful is vastly different than pasting a saccharin smile on your face and behaving like Miss Congeniality. Being thankful means seeing life in perspective. It means confronting the inevitable difficulties that come along with a hope and confidence that come from understanding that life is hard… and we are not alone in the struggle if we don’t want to be.

Being thankful is realizing that our present lot in life may not be a bed of roses, but it’s not a bed of nails either. Living with gratitude does not mean we have everything we want, but that we truly want-or at least recognize-everything we have. Human nature predisposes us to focus on what we lack, not what we have. This is a good week to look down the ladder instead of higher. What do you have that others don’t? Take off those materialistic glasses, if you can, and look for things that truly matter-family, friends, good neighbors….

Can you see your abundance?

The writer of the Book of James challenges us to be thankful even for the hardships of life. Because we’re sadists? No, because hard times can make us deeper, stronger, wiser people. That truly is cause for thanks. -DR

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