December 9, 2016 – Recently – less than a month ago – most of us sat down to a Thanksgiving dinner and proclaimed our gratitude for all the good things that come into our lives such as family, friends, food on the table, a warm bed and heat in the furnace. And we are grateful, I do believe that. Yet, many pushed their chairs away from the table to scurry down to the mall to purchase more of what we had just given thanks for: more of whatever. I realize that much which was purchased, at the expense of spending precious time with friends and family, was in preparation for the busy, hustle-bustle Christmas holiday. There must be presents for all. I suppose it’s just our materialistic nature and over-the-top advertising that drives us too spend, often more than we can afford, in an effort to show everyone that we do really love them. What’s the answer to this compulsive buying? I don’t have one, but we can begin with gratitude for what we have.


Today I needed to refill my pantry, cupboards, and that big white box in the kitchen with many stock items that were either very low or I was completely out. That included fresh produce. Getting into the car and halfway to the grocery, I wondered if I had placed all the reusable bags back behind the seat or were they still sitting on a kitchen chair waiting to be returned to their proper place for the next trip for food. In California, in certain counties, and I live in one of them, any store that sells food of any kind no longer asks, “Paper or plastic?” You either bring your own bags or juggle your purchase home any way you know how. So I said to myself out loud, “Darn, I forgot my bags.” No big deal. You can buy bags at the grocery, but that goes against my grain. I have more bags at home than I know what to do with, and I don’t need more.

That’s when I thought about gratitude. Quickly I put my forgotten bags from my mind and moved onto what was important. I am grateful that I have a fully stocked store close by where I can buy anything I need. So instead of grumbling to myself about the forgotten bags I switched to being grateful for the convenience of a nearby grocery.


A young acquaintance of mine recently published his book on Amazon. The title tells the story. “Flip The Gratitude Switch.” Good advice, and we all should do that every time we find ourselves grumbling about any annoying problem we might believe we are suffering. Most of us are not suffering. Most live in a comfortable home with comforts and luxuries never before imagined by any society in the world.

What’s more, they tell me that with the technology out there we haven’t seen anything yet. That brings just a little bit of fear to my heart, but when good things come, I’m going to be grateful and strive not to grumble about the inconveniences of life. After all, my children survived having to walk through nine feet of olive green shag carpeting to change the TV channel, and then nine feet back to their chair, but they were grateful they had a television.

Originally posted 2016-12-11 09:07:03.

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