Sadly, this pessimistic view of life doesn’t end on the political landscape. It creeps into our workplace, neighborhoods, and even our families. I’ve heard friends say, “We are just being realistic.” Maybe what we are actually doing is attempting to protect ourselves from disappointment. Expect nothing from life and we will never be disappointed, some might say. The problem is we do expect something from life. We expect a lot from life. That is why so many are outraged by injustice, real or perceived. It explains why people march in streets and write hate-filled messages on their social media account. But maybe our attempt at a solution is only contributing to the problem. Maybe we are the problem.
I want to suggest another plan of “attack.” Maybe we start by looking for what’s good in life. Maybe we realize that today is not promised or owed to us. It is a blessing. At this point, you and I could make a long list of the things we can choose to be thankful for. Many items on our lists we would share in common. But I am sure there would be a few that are unique to each of us. Those things that make us truly unique. Even being unique is something for which to be thankful.
I meet people like I am describing. People who choose thankfulness or cynicism. Maybe a few of them irritate me at times, when I really don’t want to be thankful. But quite often, they instill hope in me. Their thankfulness reminds me of all God has blessed me with. My attitude changes. My perception of life changes. I’m not suggesting that thankfulness is the solution to all our problems. But maybe it’s a start that leads to other things. Maybe, by starting with what we have to celebrate and be thankful for, we will have the God-given strength to persist through the real challenges of life. I can’t wait to get started.