Gratitude: My Problem with It

Aaron P. Graft

November 21, 2013

I am grateful for liberty and the freedom to choose how I live my life. I am grateful I can worship God. I am grateful to be a citizen of the United States. I am grateful to be married 33 years and have four great sons ranging in age from 31 to 23. I am grateful two of my sons are married and another one is engaged – all to awesome young women. I am grateful for 3 grandchildren and the next one due in December.

I could go on and on…

But I have a problem with gratitude – my problem is I have shown myself over and over again how easy it is for me to take all the above things (along with literally hundreds of other blessings in my life) for granted. I have a problem with gratitude. I cannot seem to hang on to it – gratitude and thankfulness are quick to leave my conscious thinking and overall attitude.

Perhaps I’m the only one with this problem… but likely not.

Maybe this is why it is so powerful that we have a longstanding practice in this country of celebrating Thanksgiving. I love this holiday for many reasons – one of which is that it originated from the recognition that we ought to be grateful. We, the American people, have historically been extremely blessed, and we have the ongoing opportunity to be stewards of the many benefits we experience in this country.

Sure, we have significant challenges and issues as both individuals and as a nation. But maybe… we can get better at how often and how effectively we remind ourselves of the abundant reasons we all have to be grateful. And with gratitude impacting more of our thinking, we can be in a better position to advance into the future, working on our challenges in a way that is most valuable.

Thinking through the above gives me a reason to get better at being grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!