I know there are thousands of thankful posts out there right now but I feel it’s something we should think about more than just on Thanksgiving.
Most cultures and religions have some sort of practice of being thankful or grateful for all that we have. Most of my patients are elderly and they often say how thankful they are to have woken today. It helps to put things into perspective. If you are reading this, no matter what is going on in your life then you can be thankful for another day on this planet…even if conditions are not as pleasant.
We are very spoiled in our western culture with our reliable power, indoor plumbing, climate control and all the other modern comforts we have. We tend to forget about all that we have and just get angry and frustrated when the WIFi slows or goes out. The WIFi goes out in my house and my older son think it’s the end of the world. WIFi didn’t exist when I was a kid. My 5 year old just goes to play with his toys. But if he doesn’t have his toys out he will play with anything. Empty amazon boxes are the best!
We are so quick to focus on the negative and what we are lacking that we often overlook what we have. I remember traveling in Jamaica and I was at the top of Mt Zion in a small community that I looked at with my western eyes as incredibly impoverished. I was talking to one of the women in the village about what it was like to live there. She told me that she went to Florida to go to university and get away from Jamaica but when she got pregnant with her first child she moved back because she didn’t want her children brought up in a place of excess. She said as you look around I see homes with no glass in the windows but she sees fresh air. I see poor people with no work and she sees people able to spend time with their family and friends rather than spending time at work away from those they love. In Zion there is no crime because there is nothing to steal. There is no hunger because if you are hungry you just reach out your window and pick a piece of fruit. Then she turned and pointed out to the view of the bay below and asked me how I could not be grateful to spend every day in paradise looking out over a view like that. She was right.
That conversation with the woman in Jamaica sticks in my mind to this day. By now her children that she was waiting for to get out of school are grown and probably have children of their own. I think of her often. So if you have a roof over your head, food in your belly and people you call friends you have everything you need in life. The rest is just fluff. So the WIFi is not working. So what if you have to wear a mask to go to the store. Roof over your head-check. Food in your belly-check. People to share your life with-check. If you are missing any of those things go get them. There are resources to help you with all of that because we live a life of abundance…and yes, there is fruit on our trees as well.