Thankfulness a matter of perspective

David Peck
David Peck

There’s a current trend on the social media site Facebook where folks make a list of things for which they are grateful. I don’t know if it’s a Thanksgiving thing or just a way of acknowledging blessings in general, but it’s kind of neat to see.

It seems popular these days to wallow in self pity, and our current political strife has people almost literally wailing and gnashing their teeth at the perceived idiots on the other side of the aisle and nearly stating that the end of the world as we know it is near.

Frankly, I get really, really tired of all of the whining. We’ve become a society of moaners and complainers, which takes away from the people who really have a reason to complain, but rarely seem to do so.

I’m certainly not immune to it. There are times when I need to smack myself in the face and say, “Snap out of it, man!”

So that’s why it’s nice to see people actually counting their blessings, expressing thanks for their family, health, job or myriad other circumstances in their lives.

Some of the most grateful people I know are those who are hurting in some way, or have been harmed by something, while other folks just seem to be down on everything, from the place they live to the sorry circumstances of their lives.

I think it’s a matter of perspective. You either see the proverbial glass as half full or half empty. It’s all in the attitude. Now that’s not to say that depression isn’t real. It is real and affects many people. You can’t just put on a happy face and make it all better.

But as we gather with friends and family members this week, let us remember that, in reality, we have it pretty darn good right here in the good old United States of America, especially in Wyoming, where freedom seems a little more real than other places and where people truly seem to care about each other.

When it comes right down to it, what we really have is each other…our friends, associates, fellow church and club members and our family. And I’ll just bet there are about 4,000 studies that will show that, if you count your blessings rather than wallowing in self pity at your sad circumstances, people are more likely to be attracted to you and your core of support will only grow.

It’s truly a matter of what goes around comes around.

This year I’m really looking forward to our annual family gathering at the old Peck house in Riverton, knowing that our daughter, Danielle, could be somewhere else a year from now as she starts her post-college life. There will be plenty of hugs given and received.

And if we can just avoid that killer Monopoly game that leaves everyone but the winner feeling bad, we’ll have a wonderful time. See, I’m already on the right track to a brighter year ahead.