- Jered Stewart
Gift of Gratitude
Well, the snow has come early this year! Two snow events before December after a few years of no snow until January. Living in New England is an adventure. New Englanders can be oddly proud of our misery at times. Red Sox fans spent 86 years wallowing in self-pity (I know, I am one), and with four World Series in the past 15 years we’re not sure exactly what to complain about now. Although, I’m sure we’ll find something... Bah humbug, this snow is a pain!
I bought a new snow blower this year. That’s one of those things you buy and then hope you never use, kind of like life insurance. I figured if I purchased a new snow blower, surely there would be no snow, but I may have “lucked out” as I watch the snow fall out my window as a write this. Boy I can’t wait to get home and try it out (insert sarcasm here)!
With Christmas coming and the year-end approaching, I often find myself in a reflective mood. I love the holidays, but I know that they are hard for many. We may have traditions that have changed over time or no longer exist. There are loved ones that are no longer with us. It’s often with a melancholy hope that we think of the past and look forward to the year ahead. It is good to pause and reflect on the past, just don’t get caught in the trap of sadness - take time to remember all that was good.
I was reminded of a great quote recently by William Ward: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and never giving it.” I think that life is often about having a healthy perspective. Easier said than done, of course. We all know those people though, who often seem happier and more upbeat than others. I want to be like one of them when I grow up. I guess I always assumed they were just “made that way”. But the older I get I’m beginning to realize that they are no different than you or me, they have faced adversity, they have lost loved ones, and they could choose to live a downcast life - but they don’t. They choose to see the positive, they choose happiness, and somehow, they have trained themselves to look at the world differently. As you reflect on the past year, perhaps you may consider choosing gratitude for all the good things you’ve experienced in life. And if you choose gratitude, tell someone, thank them, wrap them a gift, and then give it!
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." - Cicero