As Thanksgiving Day approaches here in the states, it seems everyone is preaching about gratitude. I have done it myself. Many of my Facebook friends post daily about something they are grateful for. 30 days of gratitude I think it is called. It is a good thing, and I don’t want to disparage it. If we have a practice of counting our blessings, we tend to be much happier people. A positive outlook on life is better for your mental, spiritual, and even your physical health. Optimists live longer than pessimists. Hope is better than despair. I believe all of that, I really do.
We had a wind storm here in Utah yesterday. I posted something on Facebook last night about being ready for the wind to stop. The wind was howling and it was scary; garbage cans were blowing down the street. The storm didn’t do a lot of damage, just a few trees and fences came down. Shingles blew off a few roofs. Our backyard gate was damaged slightly.
One of my friends responded to my post by saying that they felt grateful that it wasn’t a tornado or a typhoon. People in the Philippines and in the midwest are still suffering from the aftermath of terrible storms. My friend had a good point. It is almost always true that someone else has it worse. Your roof might be leaking, but you aren’t sleeping in a vacant lot in the rain or snow. Someone you love may have died, but others have lost not only all of their families, but all of their neighbors as well. So don’t complain, just be grateful that things aren’t worse.
No. Just no. We get to complain. I even think it is important to do so. Yes, sometimes it is about relatively trivial things, but sometimes the complaints are hugely significant and just might motivate us to do something about them. Apathy, resignation, despair are all much worse than being ungrateful. So I am making a new list of things I am NOT grateful for. Feel free to add to it.
Those are the biggies, but I will also add:
7. Cl0thing that falls apart after being washed once
8. Food that is full of dangerous chemicals
9. Parents who let their kids play in the street
11. Movies with gratuitous violence
12. Sexism, racism, homophobia (these belong up top)
13. That George Zimmerman wasn’t convicted
14. That we have some really stupid laws
15. That too many politicians sell their votes
16. That we have to fix the gate
You get the idea. What would you add? Better yet, what are you going to do about it?