An Attitude of Gratitude
MARY KAY TURNER
Our attitudes affect everything we do in life: the things we perceive, the way we see and understand those things, and the ways we relate and react with other people. When we think only or mostly about ourselves, it is easy to miss discerning those things that other people are doing that are helpful to us and those things that we could do to assist other people. As we learn to focus more on other people, we are able to understand life in new ways, interact better with more people, and learn so very much from them.
As we look at our lives we can see all that we have and be thankful; or with the opposite attitude, we can concentrate on what we think we want. When we look at our relationships and the many ways our needs are fulfilled, we can understand that we have much for which to be grateful. Most of us have everything we really need and, in addition, enjoy many things that we want.
It actually helps people feel better when they look for and appreciate the good people and things they have in their lives. When we observe the ways that people help us, we have the opportunity to help them feel better, too, as we thank them for those things they do that assist us. This can lead the people we’ve thanked to feel better and start to show appreciation to the helpful people in their lives. We can start a cycle of people thanking and encouraging each other.
Try to be aware today of people who do things that make your day go better. They may be members of your family, friends, coworkers, people who work to serve us, or total strangers who lend a helping hand. I challenge you to share your smile as you write a note or say “Thank you” to at least 5 people who are helpful to you today.
I have known many people who display gratitude in their daily lives. A wonderful mentor for me is a woman who has recently experienced cancer, the death of her husband, and family challenges. Did she feel sorry for herself and grumble? No, she kept on seeing the good things she still has in her life. She frequently thanks people by making mini muffins and creative candies which she gives to her family, health care folks, local fire company volunteers, her church family, and other friends; and she also volunteers at a retirement facility. I’ll start my gratitude today by saying, “Thank you, Ruthie, for being an amazing example.”
I hope you are thankful this month and always.
Mediation Services of Adams County (MSAC) has trained mediators available to help people work through strained family relationships, disputes with neighbors, contractors, or landlords, or other conflicts, for an economical fee based on income. If you would like more information about mediation, please contact Mediation Services of Adams County, 717-334-7312, firstname.lastname@example.org on line, or check out the website.
Mary Kay Turner is a teacher, who is a trainer, mediator, and board member of MSAC.