Take a moment to give thanks for the silent sentinel who’s always looking out for you. Generally, we are told we should be grateful for the necessities we have in life: food, shelter, family and friends. And absolutely, we should. But are we? If I had to categorize the areas in my life for which I spend the most time being thankful, I’d say at least 40 per cent of the time my gratitude is directed toward something to do with schoolwork: either finishing an assignment, having a professor move an assignment or receiving a good grade.

If I’m any example, we tend to be more thankful in the areas of our lives that hold our attention, the things which are important to us. So what does it say about me that very little of my gratitude has to do with the people I love? Many times, if we find it difficult to be thankful for an event, we can be thankful for the people surrounding the event. I had a miserable experience, but I am thankful for the people I met during it, who made me laugh, who got me to trust them, who strengthened my faith, and who didn’t refuse me when I asked for help.

In bad times, look for an opportunity that may exist, yet may not be so obvious. For example, a job loss can present all kinds of fears but perhaps it’s time to change life’s direction and look for work that is more suited to your talents and passions. Life changes, even the bad ones, can lead to good things and perhaps be the blessing of a lifetime.

Hard times test all of our capacities to remind ourselves what we have to be thankful for. Young people are not the only ones who can learn more about the value of gratitude: we are all challenged in new ways all the time to find the positive in what life may bring us.




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