As my buddy Max goes into surgery just 12 hours from now, I cannot but help but think about the thanks that he has for the world around him, that his parents exhibit for their world, and how this level of gratitude tends to permeate so deeply into culture. I scream about how much I hate culture. But when I do, I am focused on the lies, and the deception, and the marketing… especially as it relates to health.
This past week I was doing a shopping tour at Kroger, and I cam across this lousy bottle of “health drink”. Naked Juice, the Pepsi Co owned “Healthy Beverage Company”. I can tell you, when you see 63 grams of carbs (all turn to sugar in this situation), then you know you are not talking health. How could I not be outraged?
But back to the other culture, the culture of people helping people. Here we have Max, who has been getting adjusted in preparation for his surgery, and I see grateful, loving, and health focused parents. Not victims.
I love the fact that we live in a country where we can be grateful. Even under the overwhelming pressure of being the target of foreign aggression, or under the pressure of a over marketed world where no truth can be taken for the truth… we still see gratitude. I had called this day the “Day to give thanks” as a special day for our office. ”Don’t miss it”, I said. But what I really meant was, don’t miss out on it for yourself. There is nothing special happening in my office other than I guarantee you we will be projecting our gratitude on the world. The reality, is that your special day is waiting for you, simply choose to do the same.
And as I expected, my pastor (as I am sure almost every pastor out there) focused on gratitude on this Sunday before Thanksgiving. The message gave me some fuel for this Daily Sprout, as I always love to write about Thanksgiving, and I love deeper insight into the feeling that begins to well up in so many of us this time of year.
I have some bullet points that I wrote down, and the first one is a simple one. Unexpressed gratitude is ingratitude. In other words, to feel grateful is almost useless without the expression of that gratitude. Granted, it isn’t completely useless because it models our behavior, but without the expression, there is an incomplete relationship. I believe that one of the biggest reason why this time of year begins to drive a feeling of love, is because gratitude is more easily expressed, and we begin to feel the gratitude from others, thus give it more freely as well.
Imagine if it were so easy the rest of the year.
The impact of gratitude experienced more frequently throughout the year is hard to fully evaluate. Consider this Andy Stanley insight, “hearts gravitate towards acceptance and repel rejection”. If you stop to think about it, would you say that you work hard to develop acceptance and gratitude in the relationships you value most… or is there rejection?
Nagging a spouse, wearing down a child with constant correction, giving no praise but only correction to an employee/co-worker/associate. I think we are all guilty of it, the question is to what extent and what will we do to fix it?
I love the idea of starting something new for the new year. Even though health habits should begin the moment you know they are worthwhile, there is something special about a new year bringing a new effort. A new step towards something good. Might as well begin working on your gratitude now.
So many things to be thankful for, think about Max who is going in to have his leg straightened after being born with a slightly turned lower leg. It is quite a bit shorter, and though it seems to have little impact on him now, the likelihood is that it would cause many future issues. So he is going in to have it straightened. A surgery that doesn’t end once he is out of the OR. The parents will have to be diligent assisting the healing by actively managing a “halo” around his leg for months. With slight daily adjustments to bring him to the place where it all balances out.
Grateful. Regardless of the effort ahead. Grateful for the chance to take that path.
We are rich people compared to most of the Earth. We should be grateful everyday, because everyday is simply a blessing. I am so very grateful for you, whether you are a patient, or an online subscriber, I pray you will feel gratitude and have a chance to give it.
Be well and Be blessed! - Dr. E