Kerry Ahrend, M.S., PMP
GRATITUDE vs. THANKSGIVING
Although we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, it is not something that should occur only once a year. Thanksgiving is about showing gratitude to our friends, family, employees, team members, our clients, those who serve us, and most importantly—to the one who created us.
We need to learn to live thankfully and reflect on the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us. Listening to Dr. David Jeremiah this morning, as I do every morning, he said Thanksgiving is a time for relationships, a time to remember and reflect, a time to rejoice, a time to respond, and a time to reach out to others.
Quoting someone else, Dr. Jeremiah said gratitude is like a vaccine. It can prevent the invasion of a disgruntled, discouraged spirit. It can prevent the effects of the poisons of cynicism, criticalness, and grumblings. It is like an anti-septic as it can soothe and heal the most troubled spirit.
Sometimes we lose sight of all that God has done for us and so Dr. Jeremiah mentioned an exercise to help us reflect on our blessings. He suggested writing down everything we have and then imagine one-by-one that each of those things was taken away from us. Then perhaps we will begin to “count our blessings.” We take so much for granted. Instead we should take time to reflect on the abundance and blessings we have in our life.
What does it mean, a time to respond? Gratitude is an attitude while thanksgiving is an action. If you are grateful to someone—tell them. Reach out to someone you are grateful for and let them know how they have touched your life. Don’t just be grateful—be thankful by expressing your gratitude.
Gratitude is a choice, a choice we get to make every day. Be grateful and also be sure to take action to thank the people who bless you and enrich your life on a daily basis. And most importantly, be grateful to God and rejoice in His presence. Happy Thanksgiving, today and everyday . . .