People are funny creatures. We can be greedy and impatient one day, kind and considerate the next.
And always we are unendingly complicated.
Take being thankful for example. Many cultures dedicate a day to thankfulness. In America we have an actual holiday dedicated just to expressing thankfulness.
That’s good I suppose (one day is better than none) but what about Tuesday morning, or the next 12 minutes? Are we thankful then too?
Allow me to share five ways in which I’m thankful, and I’ll bet that you find you are thankful for many of the same things too.
I’m not selling anything here and I’m no preacher, but I must say that I am so very thankful for my faith.
Faith has been a constant in my life for almost 30 years. I have hard times and good times and great times and horrible times, just like everyone else.
But in the midst of all of that, I know there is someone greater than me, guiding my steps, and I know He is there … always.
No words of mine can express how good that is, but you can count yourself blessed indeed if you know what I’m talking about.
You are reading this on a computer connected to the Internet. In contrast, many countries will forever deny their citizens the ability to do what we do everyday – sign on and read email – for fear that truth will set them free.
If you live in America, your Constitution guarantees you life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You have rights. You have the right of free speech, the right to peacefully assemble and to protest.
Students in Tiananmen Square made the ultimate sacrifice on June 4th, 1989 in an attempt to gain for them a right that we in America have enjoyed for over 200 years.
We move freely from state to state with no border guards. We are free to worship as we choose. We have access to our elected officials. If we don’t like something they do, we can vote them out of office.
For these things we should be grateful indeed, because they ensure our continued freedom and ability to determine our own fate.
Are you free today? If so, take time to thank someone who fought for that freedom. Not just on Memorial Day or Veterans Day, but every day.
Nothing in the world can replace the happiness that family brings. My family is probably as weird and wonderful as your own, and sometimes I shake my head in disbelief and say that no one would believe the “crazy uncle Joe” stories if I told them.
But I’m thankful every day for my family, and for the way I was raised. It makes me tremble to think of how different my life as a child was from today’s children, and I’ll be forever thankful for being raised in a place and time where things like innocence and integrity and the truth mattered.
The day I was married was the most life-changing day I could have imagined. Suddenly, two people became one. That she wanted an old shoe like me is a mystery I still can’t figure out, but I’ve long since stopped second-guessing my wife. Certainly she had her reasons.
I’m just glad she didn’t change her mind.
The day I became a dad the world started making more sense than ever before, and I knew in a way that can’t be expressed why I was on this earth.
If you’re a parent, you know too.
No greater privilege exists. No greater stewardship can be granted. No greater joy can be experienced.
If you are part of a family, you can be thankful right now too.
Here’s the good news … you are rich right now.
The sheer fact that you are reading this article means you are better off than 2 billion (yes – that is a “B”) citizens of planet earth who can’t read.
If you know, right now, where your next meal will come from you are better off than 17% of children living in America. The rates for other countries are staggeringly high.
In these things and more, most of us are privileged in ways that others only dream of.
Our world encourages us to be competitive, to win. These are necessary traits if we are to progress. Progress is necessary and good.
Yet the siren song of business, the desire for double digit growth and the constant comparisons of ourselves to others often cause us to forget that we have so much more than we think.
If you ate a meal today, you can be thankful indeed. Many people did not.
The Internet itself is a reason for great thanksgiving. It may seem cliché, but the fact remains that in no other time in the history of the world has it been easier to open your own business and change your circumstances.
For many the Internet is not a convenience, but rather the only way out of desperate circumstances.
A computer programmer in one of the formerly Communist countries of Eastern Europe found his way out of poverty by selling his services cheaply over the Internet.
Providing excellent customer service and thankful for the opportunity itself, the income he earns makes possible such “luxuries” as proper medical care and a steady food supply.
While the average per capita income in his country remains under $1000 U.S. he eclipses that number and is building a future for himself and his extended family.
We in America view Thanksgiving as a one-day event, yet one can guess that it’s Thanksgiving every day in his home.
My knees buckle when I think of how much I have to be thankful for, and no list would be complete without including you.
The honor of working for myself, serving clients and readers for so many years, is more than I ever thought would happen to me.
That’s my list. I’m thankful for it all, and want you to know that includes you.
Now let me encourage you to take just a few minutes right now and make a list of your own. Then tell the people on that list that you are thankful for them today, while you can and while it’s fresh on your mind.
If you are having difficulty finding your blessings, try starting with these simple questions.
* Do you live free today?
* Does someone love you today?
* Have you heard children’s laughter?
* Are you part of a family?
The more you think, the more you will realize that you are blessed indeed. When we harbor the illusion that we can change the future, and allow our thoughts to stay there, we forget the joys of today.
We must not let the speed of the Internet or the constant demands of our business life steal our sense of well-being and appreciation for the people in our lives.
There will be plenty of time for websites and talk of income later. Today is a day for being thankful and counting every blessing twice. Count yours today and every day and you will find that you are rich indeed.
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