Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How Do You Show Them Thankfulness?

My Facebook feed has been blown up with people posting what they are thankful for. Every day. It only happens at Thanksgiving and seldom any other time of year. Yes, a lot of it is genuine. Yet a lot is like a never ending brag fest of who has more to be thankful for. 

I have a lot to be thankful for. We have more than we need, more than we deserve, more than enough. We have food, shelter, clothing. Most of all, our house is full of love and for that, I am immensely grateful. I'm no better than anyone else. 

But here is the thing, it's just so easy to be thankful for all the nice things. For the good things. For things that make you smile. It's easy to be thankful for people who love you and support you. You don't need any superpowers to be thankful for all the wonderful things in your life. You're pretty good at it all by yourself.

You know what eats away at people year after year? What makes people miserable? What makes life stressful?

Not being thankful for the hardships and not being content with what you have.

When was the last time you've witnessed someone being thankful or content with lack of money? Thankful for sickness? Thankful for people that hurt us or don't understand us? Thankful in dire circumstances? 

That kind of thankfulness is hard to come by. In fact, it's often not humanly possible. But do you know what happens when you start being thankful for the hardships? You change from the inside out. The people around you change. Circumstances start changing. Even if they don't, suddenly what you thought was the most terrible thing to happen to you, isn't. Suddenly you become compassionate and see so many people around you in far more horrible circumstances than yours. Suddenly you forget your problems and you want to reach out and help. 

I don't know about you, but it seems so silly to see people post about being thankful for their new home with a two car garage when millions in the world have no homes at all. Silly when people are thankful for their latest gadgets but millions are without food and water. 

How shallow the human race has become. 

How do we teach our children to see beyond material blessings? How can it be done when we are constantly surrounded by advertising, materialism, and non-stop well-meaning gift givers? How do we prevent them from becoming so shallow and drowning in toys? 

I'm not just asking you, I'm asking myself the same questions. One thing I know, children learn by example. 

What example am I setting when we choose what we spend money on? 

What example am I setting when I show what I'm thankful for? 

Am I thankful for things or for their laughter, their unconditional love, their presence?

Share your tips for cultivating thankfulness and contentment in our children!

1 comment:

  1. Im thankful that each year i realize how much less our kids need and how much they already have. Thankful for all the hardship because only through that we learn and see good come out of it.


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