Thankfulness is defined as feeling or expressing gratitude. The reasons individuals feel gratitude are as numerous as those sustaining those feelings. However, there is only one base reason that people can experience thankfulness, and that comes with the realization that there is something for which to be thankful.
There is much for people to be thankful for in their lives: From being alive to being healthy, to being loved, to being safe. Even so, our circumstances having little to do with our level of gratitude. A man in a mansion can feel discontent with having less than a man in a castle, yet a person on the street can be thankful to have a blanket for the night. How blessed a person feels is reliant entirely upon the individual and their way of thinking.
Children, perhaps, can be the greatest instructors on what it is to feel blessed. With little to no effort, a child can see the good in a situation or in a gift. Things that may seem meaningless or inconsequential to others are held as most precious to a child. For example, across the internet there is a video going around of a young boy brought to tears by his parents’ gifts to him.
As his family is struggling financially, he was expecting to go without any presents for the holidays. However, he is pleasantly surprised and incredibly grateful when he unwraps a cutting board. He tells his parents and the camera that he can’t wait to use it as he cooks. He is then surprised by another gift to open and comes to tears when he sees a tablet.
In a country where even our poor are considered rich by the standards of others, it can be difficult to reach a state of thankfulness, a realization of all our numerous blessings. But as the holidays draw nearer, it is a thing of beauty to see the gratitude that can emerge. Though changing your perspective can be difficult, it is well worth what you will receive in return if you simply open your mind to the possibilities of daily blessings. Gratitude might just be the best gift you give yourself.