I was reading a blog post written by a motorcop in California. He has been writing his blog for seven years, as long as I have been blogging, too. He observed over time that:
If you look back over the seven years of the life of this blog, you are likely to read a very cynical man’s perspective on the world. “Cynical” is a kindness, by the way. There was a season in there where “Angry” is more apropos.
Further, he said that he began reading about leadership, the Bible, fiction and non-fiction. Like me, he arrived at the conclusion that…
[These books] all told me a similar tale. It’s really hard to be angry when you’re grateful. When gratitude is a focus of your life, negative influences are, at a minimum, reduced. At the best, they’re eliminated altogether.
Like this cop, I found a correlation in my own life. When I am not angry, I am a better husband. I am a better caregiver. I am a better brother/uncle/friend. I am a better employee.
Those of you who have read this blog may question, “has BHD ever expressed a great deal of anger or cynicism?” Perhaps not as publicly or directly as the cop has done on his blog, but believe me, I have felt it. I have expressed it. I have acted in ways that I have truly regretted later. I have said things that were inappropriate and hurtful.
I have learned that by leaning on my faith and by applying my heart through caregiving, first of my sweet old uncle, then his wife through her ordeal with Alzheimer’s, then with my spouse through this three-year ordeal with chronic infections, that indeed — I have much to be grateful for. I have had downs and ups with employment, having been treated roughly and was in some rather rotten work environments. So when I’m in a good place as I am now, I know also how grateful I am.To quote MC again:
Gratitude resonates with me. It rings truer than any tone I’ve heard. Gratitude is the tuning fork for my soul. When I feel it, my whole body shudders with the joy of it and I am inclined to share it with others.
He is absolutely on target and his words reflect exactly how I feel, as well.
I regret sometimes that when I share my gratitude through posts on this blog or in social media, the reactions are somewhat not what I would expect. There are some people in this world who are unhappy and sometimes resent others who express gratefulness and joy. They push away or say things that indicate rejection of a positive attitude.
I do not take pity. I do not feel sorry. I am concerned, but I have learned that the way to feel better and resolve these sorrows is to focus and remember to have an “attitude of gratitude.” Take positive steps to say to yourself, “this is what I am thankful for.” Say to others, “thank you for doing such a great job on ____” or “I appreciate your thoughtfulness” or “it is my pleasure to help” or “your smile warms my soul.”
There are many ways to express gratitude. I make it a habit to do that each and every day with many people in my life: my spouse, my family, my boss and co-workers, my neighbors, my senior pals, my friends… lots of people.
I make deliberate efforts to express that I am happy and that I have gratitude for what I have, for what I can do, and for what my life has become.
Life is short: have an attitude of gratitude!