On Gratitude (+Things I’m Grateful For)

“And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.”

I believe, especially in the prosperous age in which we live, it is a necessity to be grateful, to live in a spirit of gratitude continually. I think we as a culture (speaking mostly of the United States, since that is where I live) are in danger of destroying the great structures we have built because we primarily think about what we think we “deserve” instead of what we already have thanks to the aforementioned structures. If we continue on this path of self-destruction, we will only have ourselves to thank for the potentially devastating aftermath.

Let us take this week which has already been set aside for Thanksgiving and pause to think about the common characteristics of ungrateful people:

  1. They are unhappy. It’s impossible to be happy if you are always thinking about what you don’t have or what someone else has more of than you.
  2. They don’t appreciate acts of kindness. They see themselves as worthy beneficiaries, like your charity is something you owe them.
  3. They complain.
  4. They paint themselves as victims, or part of a victimized group, and treat anyone with a differing opinion as their enemy.
  5. They are selfish.
  6. They hold grudges.
  7. They unjustly judge other people.
  8. They incessantly criticize everything, including people, movies, and groups.
  9. They are impatient.
  10. They solely look to others for solutions to their problems instead of themselves.

The list could be much longer, but you get the gist. Don’t be the ungrateful person in your family at Thanksgiving dinner. No matter how miserable your life is right now, there are always a million things to be grateful for.

The proper lens through which to view the world is through the lens of gratitude. Here is my list of 20 things I am thankful for, in honor of the Thanksgiving tradition:

  1. The strong bond my parents cultivated in our family
  2. The example my parents set for their children to be faithful, wise individuals
  3. The Constitution and freedoms we enjoy in the U.S.
  4. The soldiers who have fought and continue to fight for said freedoms
  5. Great books, songs, movies, TV shows, and other forms of art and entertainment
  6. The beauty of the Earth, including the animals we share it with
  7. The individuals who take on dangerous and unpleasant jobs
  8. The house in which I live
  9. My talents, however insignificant they may be
  10. Modern technology that enables us to communicate with family members in other parts of the world with ease
  11. My cat, who has been with me for eleven years and is still healthy
  12. My religion, and the right to practice it however and wherever I may
  13. The men in my life who have taught me how powerful and necessary good men are in the world
  14. Soft things — cats, clothes, furniture, voices, music…
  15. The power of language that enables us to change hearts, shape society, and confuse people 😉
  16. The capacity to love and feel loved
  17. The institution of marriage that has bound my parents and family together — and that will also bind my future family together
  18. Geniuses and entrepreneurs who invest their time, money, and talents to benefit others
  19. A healthy body and mind
  20. An unchanging, all-powerful God who knows us and loves us

What are you grateful for? Share your thoughts and/or experiences in the comments!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! If you don’t live in the U.S., have a wonderful Thursday! 😉 You don’t need the holiday excuse to treat yourself to some pie! ❤

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