A Cure for Ingratitude in a Month of Thankfuls

Full disclosure: Most of this post appeared earlier this week on my personal blog, but I think it’s worth reposting!

As most of you probably know, Facebook has been filled with daily posts of thankfulness the last few Novembers.  It’s cheesy, but in a nice way because I’m not sure most people take that moment each day to look around and see the things they are thankful for.  Of course I’m not only grateful for my life in November, but it is a fine time to take stock of 30 of the great things I’ve been blessed with in my life.

And I am blessed, not only with my amazing family and life, but I think with a positive perspective on life.  At least I try to keep this going most days.  The NaBloPoMo (you haven’t forgotten what that incredibly clunky catchy acronym means already, have you?) daily prompt earlier this week asked if we could create a painless and inexpensive cure for a single ailment, what would it be.  My first thought was cancer.  But is that a single ailment?  Is it worse than other things like Alzheimers, AIDS, or heart disease?  Would I cure childhood or adult cancers?  I don’t want to be unfair to other serious physical ailments.

So I choose something I think ails far too much of the population: pessimistic ingratitude.

I’d love to tell several of the people on my newsfeed, “Look, you’re deflating your ‘thankfuls’ by following them with posts about how badly people treat you, how much your life victimizes you, how difficult things are for you.  Find your gratitude.”  I had someone on my feed literally post that they were thankful for all of the a**holes in their life because it taught them to overcome being a victim, and then they listed all of the “terrible” things currently happening in their life.  Please.  That was just another way to say you’re a victim.

I’m not saying I’m the picture of optimism every second of every day.  I have bad days, too, and I certainly do my share of complaining.  But at the same time, I make myself take time out – even just seconds – every chance I get, to look around and be grateful for the people and things in my life.  There’s never enough money, there’s never enough time, anxiety flies around my head like a busy hive.  But my gratitude eclipses those things in the times when things push me toward pessimism.

I wish I knew HOW I would cure the ingratitude, but luckily that was not part of the prompt.  I just know I would love to give those people a magic pill or treatment that would turn that victim voice into a voice of gratitude for what is good.  To help them tell the universe “thank you” at least once a day.  Because for nearly everyone, there is good even in – or even in spite of – the breakups, the life struggles, the illnesses, and the petty conflicts.  And of course, the pill would taste like rainbows and butterflies.  That would probably help with the optimism

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