By Bruce Bialosky
Many Americans believe that Thanksgiving is the time to express gratitude.Families go around the Thanksgiving table and talk about what they are grateful for at that particular time. Gratitude is something that should be expressed all year long. And, during the “holiday season,” even a little more.
I am truly fortunate to have realized long ago that gratitude is the most important aspect of life. You cannot be genuinely happy without first being grateful. One is most likely unhappy without gratitude. Simple as that.
You do not have to be a religiously observant person to understand the importance of gratitude. But I have found that one is more likely to be a religiously observant person if you understand the importance of gratitude.
That is part of the reason in our country the “merchants of ungratefulness” are having their day. They tell people that they are taken advantage of by our society, and they divide people into groups – you know all of them. Then they tell the people over and over again that they cannot be happy because of their gender or skin color. This serves to feed only the merchants of ungratefulness as they feed their coffers and build their ranks with disillusioned.
I believe gratitude starts with the micro and expands out to the macro.
I am grateful I wake up every day full of energy without aches and pains. I told that to one friend and he said he was just grateful to wake up every day. That made me more grateful for the other part. I am grateful I can exercise and watch a wonderful movie on my treadmill.
I am grateful for my music. I listen to a broad array of music. Most know that between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is Christmas music only. No matter how challenged I am feeling at the time, listening to my music makes me happy and for that I am grateful.
I am grateful someone invented baseball and basketball and football and tennis and more. What a wonderful way to enjoy your life even if your favorite team does not win all the time.
I am grateful for all those people who write the books I read and the movies I watch. They enrich my life and make me a more knowledgeable and better person.
I am grateful for The Beautiful Wife every day. I am grateful there has never been a day where she did not want to see me or talk to me. Everything we do we share with each other. We have our separate activities, but then we share those with each other. What a gift we have been given.
I am grateful for my children, Sam and Hannah. They have never made me feel shame at being their father. Through every life stage from being an infant through their current adult lives they are an undeniable blessing.
Our doggies. All of them, including the ones who have gone to doggie heaven, has been such a joy. Thank you, God, for filling the world with dogs.
I am grateful for the rest of my family, my brother, and his family. My other relatives. It reminds me how wonderful and important family is beyond the immediate few.
I am grateful for all my friends. They sustain me and support me. They give me joy and share good times and challenging times with me. And they tell me they love me. To be able to have lunch with a friend and engage in a heated debate then get up and hug each other is something one just must be grateful for.
I am grateful for my clients and how so many have been with me for decades. I am grateful I have them as part of my life and that I can help them with their challenges.
I am grateful that I say on a regular basis “Yes, this is the United States of America and I get to say that.” Nothing like freedom and particularly freedom of speech.
I am grateful for the fact that my relatives moved to the United States a long time ago. It is amazingly special to live in a place where people from two hundred countries have come here to stake their fortunes. People of all creeds and religions. And we get along together like nowhere else on earth ever has. Sure, there are a few nudniks, but with over 330 million people from every corner of the earth, there is bound to be. As Americans, we can be working with someone from Indonesia and then talking to someone of Danish heritage. I am so grateful to have spent my life in this magical fairyland of a country. What a blessing.
This is just my list of some of the things that keep me grateful daily. I hope that it prodded you to reflect in thought about those things that make you grateful. And if you have not focused on the importance of gratitude in your life then I hope this helps to push you in that direction and puts a smile on your face and love in your heart.