What's on your gratitude list?
As Thanksgiving draws near I always like to share my thoughts on gratitude.
Here’s a column I ran last year on gratitude.
I’d like to share this again with you because it made such an impact on me.
I hope you enjoy it and it helps you realize the significance of gratitude.
I never really understood how vitally important gratitude is for a healthy life.
In fact I always dreaded the traditional Thanksgiving prayer where everyone holds hands and proclaims what they’re grateful for.
All of that changed a few years ago when I met a man who’s perspective on gratitude completely changed my life.
I was attending a get-together at a friends home and while visiting with some of his family and friends I began to complain.
It had been a rough summer.
We were short staffed at work and I had worked many double shifts, many weekends and had not been able to take a vacation.
Family wasn’t in a good place and I was complaining about my children.
There was a man sitting across from me that I had never met and I watched him listening intently to my endless griping and complaining.
When I finished, he began to speak and he dropped some knowledge on me.
He started by telling me how he understood how I felt. Long hours at a job where you don’t feel appreciated, no time off and children that at times can just drive you crazy.
“I get that, “ he said. “I understand.”
I was happy that someone understood how “mistreated” I was.
But then he lowered the boom on me.
“I understand all of it,” he said. “But I’m terminal. I’m eat up with cancer. There’s no chemo, no radiation. I have a few weeks left at best. I’d give anything to be able to go to work. I’d cherish any time I had with my family, especially my children. You’ve lost your gratitude. I hope for your sake, you find it again.”
I slid over to his side of the room and we talked for an hour. He cried and I cried and he absolutely changed my life..
He told me that life was all about relationships. Relationships with your family, friends, an co-workers. He reminded me to work on my relationships because they’re precious.
“You never know when you might leave a doctor’s office like I did, hearing such bad news.”
That man is long dead but what he told me lives on.
He shared with me beautiful suggestions on life while his was ending.
Today I’m grateful.
Grateful for so many things, but especially grateful for that man and the day God changed my life on a couch at a dinner party.
He does indeed move in mysterious ways.
What’s on your gratitude list?
See you out there.