Think to thank

It’s so easy in our culture to slip into the “poor me” mode. Life seems tougher on the side of the fence we happen to occupy. You know how it goes. We work too hard. We pay too much. We can’t afford one. We don’t have enough time. We can’t keep up. We can’t catch a break. We’re misunderstood. We’re mistreated. We’re victims.

Enough already.

Life has struggles and challenges, but most of us are better off than we tend to believe. We may not have everything, but we have more than most. We may want more than we have, but we probably have more than we deserve—if we take the time to think about it.

And that’s what Thanksgiving Day is all about: stopping to think about it. It’s stepping beyond the confines of our daily routine long enough to honestly assess where we are and how we got there. And then, for 99 percent of us, to confess our selfishness, to recognize our blessings, and to give thanks for our unmerited favor.

Being human, we may never fully comprehend, much less aspire to, a place of contentment. Wanting more is intrinsic to who we are. But maybe, if we are fortunate, we can regain perspective on the values that are actually worthy of our aspirations.

That’s what gives Thanksgiving Day transformative potential. —DR

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