I think it says a lot about our culture that we have a holiday to remind ourselves to be thankful. I know it is really to celebrate something different, but we have commercialized it to be about shopping and being thankful for what we have (kind of ironic, is it not?).
Why can we not be thankful more often?
I know I am a week late, but I could not think of better timing for a post on thankfulness. Most people assume we are past that part of the year and we are now on to focusing on Christmas, but I would argue that it is the other fifty-one weeks of the year that we need to celebrate and practice thankfulness.
Far too many of us are unappreciative for the things in life that deserve the most thanks.
- A roof over our heads
- Water that gets pumped out of a faucet by turning a knob
- A heating and cooling system so we don’t sweat and freeze all year long
- Blankets to stay warm
- Enough food to fill us up over and over again
- People to take care of us
- The opportunity to have a job
I am talking about the little, everyday things; not whatever your typical answer may be at Thanksgiving. What are the things we so often take for granted that enable us to live the way we do?
We need to shift our focus from thankfulness once a year to thankfulness three hundred and sixty five days a year.
What does that look like?
Here are three examples:
Ultimately, the most thankful people are the ones who care about themselves the least. The ones who do not always seem like they are trying to impress others. These people do not come off as someone always trying to get ahead. They aren’t the ones posturing themselves as someone they are not.
Instead they are the type of person who always puts others first. They are the ones who always help those in need. They are the people who know how to exalt others or make them feel important while downplaying themselves. They have inner peace and are not trying to calm any storms inside.
So which type of person are you? Are you thankful once a year? Are you thankful a few times a year? Or are you full of thanks all year long? Do you let others know how grateful you are for them and also for what you have been blessed with?
Letting a friend or family member know how grateful you are for their impact on your life is a gamechanger. It pushes you towards humility and makes that person feel like they matter. And at the end of the day, isn’t that something we all want? To know that we matter to someone other than ourselves?
Here’s my challenge. Be thankful. Not just last week. Not just this week or two weeks from now. But six months from now. When we are past this season. When life gets rough and heavy, will you still be thankful for all that you have? Choosing to focus on thankfulness will not only change you, but those around you and that makes it worth the intentional effort of creating the lasting habit of giving thanks.