What Are You Grateful For?

With November comes Thanksgiving. And isn't that what life is all about? Giving thanks?

I wanted to share some thoughts on gratitude expressed by our daughter, Haley, in her blog while traveling in Paraguay last month. The stark poverty she encountered there led her to this new awareness:

The divisions created by things like where I was lucky enough to be born, and the color of my hair, and the hard work of my parents, and the general and overwhelming privilege that I have been so blessed with all felt very real today. It becomes almost numbing, because to honestly empathize is impossible. I’ll never know what that feels like. Even spending so much time hoping to and actually working for “the poor,” I’m so far from that world. I can’t even fairly conceptualize poverty in America, let alone poverty in Paraguay. It raises questions of if I could really do it. If I could really shed the addiction to image and wealth that I have so vehemently claimed that I “don’t care about.” I honestly don’t think that I could, which makes me feel sad and ashamed, and so, so, so grateful.
For as long as I can remember, our family dinner conversation began with my mom asking,“So, what was everyone grateful for today?” There is an ongoing joke (that my step-dad especially loves) that all of my answers have always been something in the negative – I could only come up with gratitude for something not happening: “Well…I didn’t have any Science homework.” “Well…I didn’t have to run in PE today.” “Well…you haven’t made me take the trash out today.” Most often was probably, “Uhhhhh…..I dunno. Your turn.” As I’ve “grown up,” I think I’ve been able to more clearly identify the things (and most often, the people in my life and relationships I have) that I’m grateful for. I suppose when I was younger, all the rest was clearly something I was "entitled" to have. But being here, in this world…my grateful list will go on forever.

Today I am especially grateful for Haley and the joy she brings to my life. What are you grateful for?

If you're having a hard time finding anything to be grateful for today, maybe this song will help.
Mimi WeavergratitudeComment