It’s easy to feel gratitude when you are at the Thanksgiving table. The atmosphere is perfect, food masterfully prepared, and everyone’s usually on their best behavior. That’s one of the beautiful things about that holiday. Every year at our family thanksgiving celebration, before we even eat anything, everyone takes a turn sharing with the group what we’re thankful for from the past year. Revelations coming from the hearts of the oldest down to the youngest are treasured memories we don’t easily forget. Precious memories! You may ask, with the obvious twists and turns of life, how can we continue to be grateful all year. Here’s what I discovered one day while on a business trip.
While driving the roads in North Georgia, I saw a sign on the side of a store building that said, “It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.” As I drove past the building, I gave that statement a second thought because there’s an undeniable truism in it. Thankful people are happy! This holiday season, is extremely important to me. I say, “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy X Mas”. To me, there is a reason for the season. Here’s an eye-opening story that might help you with your holiday stress and reaffirm that thankful people are happy no matter what happens to them.
A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. As he sat on the step, he held up a sign which read, “I am blind. Please help.” There were only a few coins in the hat, just spare change from passerby’s as they hurried past him. When one inquisitive but intuitive man was walking by, he took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. As the young man said, “Thank you”, the man took the sign from the young boy’s hands. As the man turned the sign around, he scribbled some more words on young man’s sign. Then he put the sign back into the boy’s hand so that everyone who walked by would see the newly written words. Soon the hat began to fill-up. It wasn’t long before lots more people noticed and added to the growing heap of coins nestled inside the blind boy’s hat.
That afternoon, the man who had changed the sign returned to see how things were going. The boy recognized the man’s footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?” The man answered, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said, but in a different way.” “I wrote, “Today is a beautiful day, but I cannot see it.” Both signs spoke the truth but the first sign simply said the boy was blind while the second sign conveyed to everyone walking by how grateful they should be to see the magnificence of the beautiful day.
When your life seems full of troubles, it is hard to maintain an “attitude of gratitude”, don’t you agree? When everything just seems to be going smoothly, we often take precious moments for granted. I know I do. Caught up in the bliss, comfort and familiarity of everything that the holidays can bring, we can sometimes forget to be thankful for what we truly have.
Simply put, gratitude is a learned habit. It’s a way of looking at the world and all the good things in it with a feeling of appreciation, regardless of whether or not your current situation is to your liking. Gratitude is a heart-centered approach to being at peace with yourself, your situation and with everything you have. When you practice a feeling of gratitude, it attracts even more things in your life for which to be grateful. Please try being more grateful. Think about what or who you have in your life to be thankful for this year. Possessing and demonstrating sincere feelings of gratitude in 2018 can help make it your best year ever!
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D. J. Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, and marketing consultant. He works primarily with customer service personnel, and his clients include such world-class companies as General Motors, DuPont, Caterpillar, and Damon Corporation. He may be reached at 800-352-5252. E-mail: email@example.com. 52 weeks a year, we are as close as your telephone.