From where I sit, most days it is easy to maintain a thankful perspective.
Shelter and nourishment are taken for granted. Relative to any benchmark, I enjoy good health. And thanks to family and friends, I am surrounded by relationships that add a richness to each day that cannot be measured.
But there are moments when my gratitude seems painfully anemic.
I am convicted by the exuberance with which a barefooted child engages in a make-shift game of keep-away in the dirt streets outside a hut somewhere in South America.
Closer to home, I wonder at the single mother, struggling to make ends meet in good times. Three months ago she underwent major surgery for the removal of a malignant tumor. And tomorrow — as is her annual custom — she’ll open her home for anyone in her community with nowhere to go for Thanksgiving.
A thankful perspective is a matter of choice. A decision. It is defining in nature. Some simply approach each day with thanksgiving — without respect to circumstance or station. Independent of wealth or celebration. These are the individuals that inspire me.
Their spirit is both born of, and engenders joy.
As conversations inevitably turn to the plans and strategies of a new year, I am embracing the moments of this season that prompt me to reflect, adjust, and recommit to a deep-seeded perspective of thanksgiving. One that transcends a day. Or a season.