Attitude of gratitude


We Americans should be extremely grateful. What we have most of the world does not. For such a short period of time in existence, the USA became the “best place” to live hands down. We were admired not just for our material advantages, but for the freedoms so many only dream about. Our country was founded to be different, unique, free. Despite some personal and governmental injustices, our country was envied worldwide. We became the beacon to the world — to come here for the dream. And, immigrants came for the right reasons, to become Americans, not to establish little Italy, Sweden, China, etc.

Are we still grateful? We should be. Grumbling and bickering help no one, whether we are in war, depression or virus-scared.

Ann Landers and others have suggested this type of gratitude: Be thankful for clothes that fit snug, because we have plenty to eat; laundry to do, because we have clothes; lawns to cut and windows to fix – homes; a party mess to clean – friends; that faraway parking place – we can walk; taxes – employed; heating bills – warmth; the person who argues politics – freedom of speech.

I have so many friends to be thankful for: Friends I “like, care about, pray for, trust, believe, believe in, value highly, respect, can defend and love.” Ain’t that grand? Have such people? I bet you and they feel blessed, special and grateful.

Many readers no doubt are familiar with the reading about Priorities often quoted: In 100 years will people remember what kind of car you drove, how expensive your house was, your salary or your things? No. But, they will recall how you loved and treated them. It is said that in time, you may not fully recall what a special person did for you or said to you, but will never forget how they made you feel. I just received such a kind remark from an international student who befriended me 25 years ago now in Japan. Feels great.

So, what and who are you grateful for today? Believers, we are exhorted to be full of gratitude. If Paul and Silas could rejoice in jail, we surely can. When your past is forgiven, your present protected and your future guaranteed, gratitude comes naturally. If you are a sourpuss Christian, do some examining.

Grateful now for: Time-saving appliances? Upcoming vacations? Pets? Family reunions? Finding old friends on-line? Spring?

Chuck Swindoll says: The longer I live, I realize the impact of attitude on life and see it more important than money, education, the past, facts, failures, successes, circumstances, appearance, skills or what others think or do. A good attitude makes or breaks a family, business, church, etc. Each day we have a choice. The past cannot be changed, neither can people. It is only our attitude we can control. I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% our response. Choose an attitude of gratitude for at least today.

Mike Olson

Ford River/Escanaba


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