As I was growing up, my parents always emphasized that we see in life what we train our sights upon. If we train our sights upon insults, negativity, injustices, or just ugliness in general, those things will dominate our thoughts and our lives. If, on the other hand, we train our sights on positive accomplishments, and on the good and the beautiful things that surround us, those things will dominate.
Earl Nightingale once famously said, “we become what we think about most of the time.” His statement takes my parent’s idea one step further by suggesting that what we train our sights upon tends to come back to us. It helps make
up who we eventually become.
That is one reason why I find holidays to be so important. They remind us of particular things – usually things for which we collectively feel some gratitude. Thanksgiving is the holiday that, for me, wraps all of my gratitude for so many things all together in turkey and pumpkin pie. We literally feast in celebration of the good in our lives, and in my opinion, by thinking about the good, we become better as individuals, as communities and as a nation. We also want that same good to bless the lives of others. I know some will quickly point out the injustices associated with many holidays, but without suggesting that we ignore or disregard injustices, I choose to focus on what I’m grateful for.
So on this Thanksgiving day, I’m grateful for my family. My wife and children make all of my efforts worthwhile.
I’m grateful for all those who went before me and helped build the political and economic systems that have given us more opportunities and blessings than have ever existed before in the history of this world.
I’m grateful for the natural beauties that surround us, and I’m grateful for my faith in a god who provides such beauties.
I’m grateful for good health, comfortable shelter, plentiful food and clothing and everything else that allows me to concentrate at least some of my time on the common good.
I’m grateful for good friends and I count all of you in that category. I’m grateful to be able to do business with you.
And there is so much more…
As you enjoy this Thanksgiving day, make your own list. What are the things for which you are grateful? May that gratitude enhance your lives.