Remembering Our Blessings

During the Christmas season, it’s my observation that folks tend to get wrapped up (no pun intended) in the shopping, the food, and the chaos that always occurs.  Like clockwork, we can predict it.  Just this morning, a rowdy group of shoe hounds damaged a mall in Indianapolis because they just HAD to have the latest pair of Air Jordans.  And every year, I can’t help but think to myself, “Wow! These people would all be so much happier if they just took the time to realize just how good they have it.”

To me, it seems almost epidemic.  Especially the kids in today’s society seem to have a really hard time putting things into perspective.  Rather than feeling slighted by their parents’ inability (or unwillingness) to spend more than $100 on a pair of shoes, these kids need guided through the process of putting things into perspective.  “Now, Jimmy, do you realize that in some parts of the world, kids don’t even HAVE shoes?”

It might seem silly.  It might even resemble those comments that some folks heard when they were young.  “Eat your breakfast! Don’t you know there are people starving in Africa?” But in reality, it’s our responsibility to remind our children how fortunate they are.  It’s our duty to teach them to count their blessings.  It makes for much happier, much less entitled children who grow up to do good works themselves.

I was just telling my daughter this morning after she awoke from a nightmare, “You know, I pray as I’m drifting off to sleep, and the first thing I do when I pray is thank God for the many blessings I have in my life.  It helps me to fall asleep happy, and the bonus is that I’m much less likely to have bad dreams.” I wasn’t telling a fib.  I really do take the time to be grateful, and I try to stay humble.  I don’t always succeed, but when I do, it goes a long way toward keeping me happy.  Seeing the silver lining is the mark of a survivor.  After all, if you’re a pessimist, what’s the point?

So everyone, take a moment and remember that, no matter how tough things are right now, they could be so much worse.  Stay positive, stay motivated, and make the most of each day you have on this planet of ours!

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One Response to Remembering Our Blessings

  1. Steve says:

    I will do this, thank you.

    I spoke with a man whose girlfriend of over a decade decided to commit the ultimate act and end her life about a month ago (leaving behind several children) just before Christmas. It is a terrible thing and it leaves so many people behind. Life has never been perfect, not even for Jesus, look at all the suffering he went through. Our lives in first world nations are unbelievably fortunate on the whole, even for those suffering the worst of the financial crisis. At least we have a (not perfect albeit available) safety net in our country for those who have really hit the bottom. (I know you can point out somebody or some group who falls through the cracks) But overall, we live in a practically utopian existence if you compare it to people living just 100 years ago.

    Thank your blessings for what you do have and work hard to fix the things you don’t have if you can. Even if you are depressed about it, the working to make yourself better is cathartic in and of itself.

    I know…. I should follow my own advice…. I think that is a good goal for 2012. BTW I don’t think we should feel bad about being a consumerist nation, it is what defines us and just because others can not do so, we should not crucify ourselves for being this way, just don’t hang your whole existence on it if you are unable to buy the $100 sneakers, but if you can and it brings you or your family joy, do it and enjoy it. Long live capitalism and the ability for it to bring good things to all the world, jobs, things, stuff we need, and stuff that just makes us feel good.

    Merry Christmas

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