With the Thanksgiving holiday last week, I knew that it would be appropriate to write about the importance of giving thanks and being grateful. This week, I really thought that would be the last thing I’d be writing about.
But it wasn’t.
First, in my last post, “Developing Optimism in an Age of Pessimism,” I noted that research has shown that: “Eighty percent of physical, emotional, and mental health are a direct result of our thought lives” (Leaf, 2009). See her landmark book, “Who Switched Off My Brain?” at https://www.amazon.com/Who-Switched-Off-Brain-Controlling/dp/0981956726.
EIGHTY percent! If our thinking is THAT important to what we say and what we do, what could we accomplish if we thought more positive thoughts more of the time, and not the negativity that it’s so much easier to lapse into?
But I probably still would have been writing about a different topic had it not been for the segment by A.J. Jacobs on giving thanks for a cup of coffee on CBS Sunday Morning. See more here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-j-jacobs-thanks-a-thousand-a-gratitude-journey/
Jacobs, you see, embarked on a lengthy journey to thank each of the different people involved in making his morning “cup of Joe” a reality. Jacobs’s 10-year-old son pointed out that it wasn’t enough for Dad to “Give thanks” out loud over his morning pick-me-up, a daily habit shared by many of us.
No, if he was really serious about his gratitude, Dad would thank the numerous people along the way.
That meant thanking a truck driver to, yes, traveling to Colombia where the coffee beans were grown.
Now I’m not saying that we have to go THAT FAR to be truly grateful for something. But Jacobs brought the idea of “giving thanks” to a whole another level.
Let’s say you had a terrific salad for lunch yesterday. It had everything you like on it: Spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, red peppers, black olives. The works. You “might” remember to thank the waiter, but what about the cook who chopped up the veggies? The busboy who cleaned up your table afterward? Maybe, depending on where he lived, even the farmer who grew the vegetables?
You get the idea.
What would our world be like if more people thought like Mr. Jacobs, as opposed to the negativity that comes much more easily to us?
Being thankful isn’t a one-day thing, it’s a lifestyle.