Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Giving Thanks

Years ago when I was of a more cynical mind, I got so tired of the syrupy talk of gratitude around Thanksgiving time… but now I have a very different attitude. If you are a believer in God and His Word (the Bible) like I am, we are commanded to be thankful in each and every circumstance. It’s mandatory.

Thankfully, being thankful just happens to be beneficial, both psychologically and physically. WebMD says so, and if you have some spare time you can check out the 1,880,000 entries listed under “benefits of gratitude” according to Google.

How can one cultivate a grateful heart? I’m still working on this myself, but I think one of the keys lies in the words Viktor Frankel. Back in college I had the privilege of hearing him speak. He was a Jewish Austrian existentialist who was a prisoner for three years in concentration camps (mostly in Auschwitz).

His wife and mother died. But in the midst of his suffering he came to the conclusion that a person can choose his attitude in each and every situation. According to Frankel, everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

So we can choose to be thankful in every situation - we can make it a habit. It can be our default attitude, if we choose to make it so. I'm thankful for Thanksgiving - it reminds me to keep working on this! Happy Giving Thanks to you.

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Anonymous Kim from Hiraeth said...

Lovely post, Elizabeth.

I'll be back soon to explore your blog--looks delightful.

Thanks for sharing your link!

: D

6:22 AM  
Anonymous rosemary said...

I like the idea of thankfulness being our "default attitude." Wouldn't THAT make a difference in the world!

7:34 AM  

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