Actively Thankful…

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“It took your Aunt Marilyn a lot more time and effort to make that ceramic baseball player for your birthday than it’s going to take you to sit down and write a thank you note, so you sit down right now and you write it.”

–     Pat Heston (1936 – 2006), my mom, Olympic quality worry-wart, glass is half empty pessimist and perhaps the most thankful person every born

Man, did she nag me about this stuff. And, man, do I miss that nagging!

That said, the ceramic Little Leaguer sits on a table in the corner of my office to this day (that’d be 47 years now, for those of you scoring at home), and I still try to send at least three or four handwritten notes each day.

It’s one thing to say, “Thanks.” It’s another to be thankful.

The discipline of actually being thankful is one of those investments that pay incredible dividends in comparison to just “saying” thanks.

It’s a verb.

It’s a verb that easily gets passive, especially if we let the pace of life get in the way. As we begin a new year we ought to re-examine just how active we want the verb to be in our lives, and to examine how committed we want to be about making it more active, even as the season passes.

It’s also a mindset.

Traffic on the way to the mall Friday? Maybe it’s a chance to turn up the radio and listen to that song you haven’t heard in months.  Someone droning on and on during a conference call? Maybe it’s a chance for you to bring clarity to the matter at hand, to somehow leverage the gifts you’ve been given to return focus to the conversation. Illness? Maybe a chance to look around a quiet room and realize that no matter how crappy you feel, that there are comforts in the room that someone else would almost die to have. Loss of a loved one? Maybe a chance to celebrate a life well lived…

You get the idea.

We live in a country that isn’t getting much right these days. Politics rule while governing should. Partisanship takes precedent over doing the right thing. The media makes stars out of people who were yesterday’s punch lines. Mandy Patinkin hasn’t been on TV for years, but The Kardashians are on every five minutes.

But, we live in a country where we got to vote for the idiots who are dorfing things up. Most people don’t get to choose. We get to choose what channel to watch awful TV on. Some people can eat for three months on what we pay for cable. We get to drive in our cars to one of several theatres to see any number of bad movies of our choosing. Some people don’t have shoes, let alone a ride to wherever they want to get to.

As screwy as things are here, here is still a place that people from almost everywhere else are gaming the system to get in to. We have much to be thankful for, methinks.

When we commit to establishing a mindset of thankfulness, and we commit to making “thanking” an action verb, I wonder how much better things will feel in general, and I wonder how much of a light we become for those around us who are struggling today, with either the mindset or the action.

 

 


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Comments

  1. Jerry Heston says

    WWAPD. good guidance

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