So, November is coming, and that only means one thing: the inundation of gratitude posts on Facebook. I have nothing against being grateful. I have lots I’m grateful for: home, family, food, my Keurig, a self-cleaning cat box. But seriously, Suzie, do we need to hear how you’re so grateful for your kids because they teach you patience. We know they teach you patience because you haven’t put them up for sale on eBay yet. And, Bob, we are all so happy that you are grateful for your wife and all the hard work she does. We’ve seen you, Bob. We know you would be naked and homeless if it weren’t for her. She doesn’t deserve praise on Facebook. She deserves sainthood. Yay for you to find someone who picks up your dirty socks every day.
I get it. You want to show your appreciation for the things you have. Awesome. But shouldn’t this be a thing we do every day and not just save it all up for one month? Wouldn’t it make sense if we were grateful all the time? After all, there is always something to be grateful for, even among the madness of election season and holidays with family.
It’s weird how our society tells us to be grateful for what we have.
“There are people who have it worse than you.”
“You don’t have it all that bad.”
“Do without and you’ll learn to appreciate what you have.” But it seems we live in a do as I say not as I do society. Our society places high value on selfishness, greed, vanity, and the ability to replace the damaged goods. It doesn’t matter if it’s a TV, phone, jeans, cars, or relationships.
I understand the need to pronounce to the world your gratitude. There’s a stigma attached if you don’t take part. Like, how dare you not join the bandwagon.
“Oh my gosh, Brenda, did you see April’s news feed?”
“So sad, not one gratitude post in three days. I don’t know how her husband deals with her.”
I’ve found that during the first week of November about ninety-five percent of my news feed clogs up with this forced thankfulness listing their friends and family.
“I want to thank my husband for all the hard work he does. Because of him I’m able to stay home, go grocery shopping, run the kids to all their after-school activities, cook three meals a day (not including snacks for the kids), do five loads of laundry a day, and run my home business. Thanks, babe.”
By the second week, about fifty percent will continue to post, listing their jobs and homes. “I am so grateful for my job. I love my co-workers well, except for Sheila. No one likes Sheila. Even Sheila doesn’t like Sheila. It helps to pay the bills and buy the food. Even though we’re in debt to our eyeballs and just took out a third mortgage on the house because it needs a new roof, new septic system, and the toilet flows clockwise, I love earning a paycheck. Half of my paycheck goes to pay for daycare I love being a part of the workforce.”
By the third week, maybe twenty-five percent are still banging those keys, saying their health is the reason they’re sharing their gratitude.
“I’m so grateful for my health. I’ve only been to the doctor eleven times this year, the emergency room five times, and the pain specialists three times. I’m especially grateful to George, the pharmacist at Walgreens. Because of his suggestions, I could cut my monthly medication costs to five hundred dollars instead of seven fifty. Thankful for saving money. Every penny counts.”
Once Thanksgiving comes and goes, everyone is back to their regularly scheduled posts and complaining about Christmas shopping. “So grateful I got to the Walmart early today. I scored three laptops for the kids, a flat screen TV for the husband, and forty-two pairs of yoga pants. And all it cost me was my front tooth, three of my acrylic nails, and one boot. Thanks, Black Friday shopping.”
Maybe that’s why we need to make gratitude a practice every day. There’s so much ugly in the world today that it chokes out the good. Maybe gratitude needs to stand up and shout over the noise of negativity. Would your world and your view of it would change like so many gurus and law of attraction believers profess if you made gratitude a daily practice? Would taking a few minutes a day to think about what’s good in my life and say thank you for it make that much of a difference in my life?
It’s worth a shot. What’s the worst that can happen? So I’m going to join the throngs of Facebookers in November and start thinking about things each day that I’m grateful for.
I’m grateful for this opportunity.
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