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Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Power of Gratitude

As we go through our daily lives, it is not always instinctive to stop and remember all of the things we should be grateful for. We drive to work in our luxury cars but have road rage instead of being thankful for having a job in this economy; we watch kids tag along on a shopping trip with mommy who then proceed to scream because they want that toy; we see or have teens who have cell phones, computers, even cars purchased by their parents then fail to help out around the house and freely talk back to their parents. These, hopefully, are extreme cases. But I recognize in my own family that my kids should do more around the house without the whining that goes along with it and without my nagging them to do it. Is our society different than other countries? Are those that have more, - more grateful? Or are those that have less more grateful?

Ever since my children were very little, we started a tradition where we would all gather on the master bed and say three things we are grateful for. Our goal was to instill in them a habit to reflect on how much we have and for each other. Especially when two of them are not getting along particularly well, we want them to imagine what it would be like if they didn't have that sibling in their lives (sometimes they WISH that were the case), and what they could do differently to get along better.

As I get older, I am more grateful than ever. I realize I am so fortunate even during these tough economic times. In my middle age I realize more and more of my contemporaries are having health problems. I am getting emails about people a few years younger than me who just passed away. Good health is the one thing I am most grateful for, and the good health of my loved ones.

What I realize is, the more grateful I am, the more postive I am in my outlook on life. And that in turn seems to have a domino affect, branching out in every aspect of how I live my life. That alone seems to create a healthy attitude that money just can't buy.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, thanks for reading.

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