Gratitude and Love
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.“ — Ralph Waldo Emerson
We often forget how blessed we are. Counting blessings ought to be a daily activity. I suppose it is for some of us, while the rest of us are too busy juggling to linger with gratitude. Experts on such things as happiness suggest writing down what you’re grateful for at the end of each day. I’n not so bold as to call myself an expert on living happily, I just try to do it. It does seem logical that if we are what we focus on, focusing our attention on gratitude and the blessings in our lives surely seems more delightful than focusing on what’s missing. Acknowledge both; dwell in joy.
Americans have this holiday of holidays: Thanksgiving. Some people aren’t really focused on thanks and gratitude on Thanksgiving, they’re just trying to pull of the logistics of the day. But this is the very best holiday of them all for many of us—not because of the day drinking and heaping plates of everything, but because we come together with the people we love the most. What’s lost on some Americans as we celebrate this coming together as family business is that much of the world does this gratitude and love thing every day of the year.
Gratitude and love fill a void otherwise open to darker forces. Happy doesn’t need Thanksgiving, but giving thanks seems to lead towards happy. It’s a funny twist on words, I suppose, but also a more fulfilling way of living in this complicated and tragic world. A recipe for happiness, if you will. So whether you celebrate this particular holiday or not, we’re sending a nice helping of love, from our table to yours.
A Canadian colleague gave me reason to pause for thought when he asked with sincerity, “why do Americans seem so unhappy when, to us, they have so much?”
I ask myself this question all the time. It’s the other side of the aspiration coin. We aspire to live the American dream, but can’t reconcile it with a system that’s increasingly rigged to help the “rich” get richer. We keep buying what they’re selling, putting us into the maze of confused, broken dreams and false gods promising answers. No wonder there’s so much misdirected rage. Our choice is to work for better or escape (and there are many ways to escape). This is a blog post disguised as a reply, but you already know the same answers I know. You’re literally sailing away from the maze. I’m backing away more slowly. But we both see the problem lies in the maze.