Maybe “trend” is the wrong word. Gratitude has been around, well, forever. Though I have no proof, I’m sure that even cavemen were grateful when the hunt was successful and he could feed his family. And the Bible has plenty to say about giving thanks, being grateful.
In the countdown to the American tradition of Thanksgiving this Thursday, gratitude seems like an appropriate topic.
I am grateful that I have plenty to eat.
For me, sometimes gratitude does feel like a movement or a trend because with the advent of public declarations through social media, we can see our friends and neighbors being grateful everywhere, especially in November. Plenty of tweets on being grateful in general and Thanksgiving in particular. Don’t forget all your facebook friends that are listing things they are grateful for. It seems in those lists you must have 3 or 5 things every day.
I am grateful for all my friends, even those who are not on facebook.
Gratitude journals? Pick a number and be that grateful everyday. Pen to paper, or online would work, too. And do it always, not just in November. I have attempted to do this on any number of occasions, usually in writing, but once with a Tumblr blog where I vowed to post a picture of something I was grateful for everyday. Forever. Um, I can’t even remember the name of the blog. Oops.
I am grateful for 2nd chances (and 3rd, and 4th, and … )
There have been studies, too. Keeping a gratitude journal will keep you healthier, both mentally and physically.
I am grateful for the scientists who do the research so that we can all be our healthiest selves.
While it may feel like I am mocking those who are sharing their gratefulness with us, the truth is
I am very grateful for all I have.
So many here in the United States will not be able to have the Thanksgiving turkey and all its trimmings unless they find giving folks in a church or shelter. So many here do not have a roof over their head.
And let us not forget those millions around the world that are homeless, literally and figuratively.
Next time you are sitting at the stoplight trying not to notice the man with the cardboard sign, go ahead, unroll your window, look him in the eyes and give him a dollar or two. It will make both of you feel better.
Think about gratitude as not just something we do on the 4th Thursday of November, or a trend to be the most grateful on facebook; but as a lifestyle, something that happens every day of your life.
Thank you for reading.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:14-15, NRSV