By Galina Yanchova
Recently it was Thanksgiving. I and my family celebrated it, having a rich dinner prepared by me. During the day, each of us had to think about what he/she was grateful for this year and share it during dinner. Of course we have quite a fun time!
You see, Thanksgiving is easier to be said than to be done!
We often look around and wonder why some of the people around us are so ungrateful. Why don’t our children appreciate all that we do for them? Why does our spouse not show gratitude? Why do our co-workers take us for granted?
To understand why the feeling of gratitude is so elusive, we must examine the word for “gratitude”, which also means “to acknowledge,” as in acknowledging that another’s opinion is correct.
Why do these two seemingly distinct ideas, thanksgiving and acknowledgement, share the same word?
Someone somewhere said: The key to being thankful is acknowledging the other’s perspective. To illustrate: a mother does so much for her child, yet does the child really appreciate it? The child may take the mother for granted, thinking that she is just doing what she is supposed to do as a mother. After all, argues the child, isn’t this her job? The only way the child can genuinely feel grateful is if he adopts her perspective if he appreciates all her sacrifices and all the time she lovingly dedicates to him. The same is true of a spouse. Only when we acknowledge and appreciate the other’s point of view we can we say , “thank you.”
Can we possess the ability to see beyond the obvious, to acknowledge the other’s perspective? Can we experience the pain of others, as well as rejoice in their happiness as if it were our own?
Our perspective is that our life, health and success is due to our independent efforts and that the only one we need to thank is ourselves. But do we really able to be those who live the life ourselves? No, I do not think so, we need each other, we are created to live with other human beings.
Unfortunately, it seems that society has become more and more self-consumed. One of the ways we generate unhappiness is taking goodness for granted and focusing on what we don’t have instead of what we do have.
A sense of entitlement kills gratitude. Remember that many people are far less fortunate than you may be—and are quite happy with what they have. When we understand that everything is a gift, then we escape the trap of an entitlement mentality. Developing an “Attitude of Gratitude,” then we can see and appreciate all of our many blessings.
Let we possess the gift of acknowledgement and therefore, experience genuine thanksgiving.