Holidays like Christmas can bring out the greed as you contemplate what you’d want for presents this year. If instead your focus is on helping those less fortunate than yourself: i.e. the homeless, unemployed or sufferers from medical illnesses, perhaps we’d discover the principle of gratitude. (Photo of my four stepdaughters when they came to help celebrate their dad's 65th birthday.)
Raised in a consumer society, the advertisements in print or media bombard us with wants. “You need this, to be happy.” Do we really? Perhaps real happiness is found in helping others in less fortunate circumstances than our selves. Many times our own immediate families need our help. Assistance doesn’t always need to be given in money, but perhaps time, listening, and giving wise advice when asked. Connecting with family and the society we live in is so important.
It’s easier to be greedy, wanting more with no end in sight to what we could have that would bring “true happiness.” Then a grave situation comes like a cancer diagnosis. Suddenly the trip to Hawaii or the new car pale in comparison to just a few more days to enjoy a normal life. Hopefully, it doesn’t take a drastic wakeup call like that to shake up your world. Start today to take the time in prayer or written word to list your blessings. Give thanks for blessings taken for granted be it a spouse, parents or friends will fill your life with greater happiness than all the greediness bundled together and tied with a red bow. Try it.
True gratitude comes from not taking for granted a new day to go forth in with health or a job or responsibilities. The grateful heart is a happy one. The practice of writing down the things we are thankful for can help bring awareness of all that is good in our lives. Too many times we focus on the problems, trials and challenges while we are still surrounded by loved ones in our family and friends who are there for us.
Take time to connect with family daily. Giving an unexpected compliment to your spouse or children can change their day and yours also. It can take your attitude from “scarcity” to “abundance.” It’s free, costs nothing. Awareness and commitment on your part can make your world a little happier. Try giving two compliments to someone in your life today and see how it changes your attitude or write a thank you note to someone. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!