Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 11/29/2021
Here we are on the Monday after Thanksgiving in the US, and I’m finding people less thankful! I’m hearing the whining again about supply chain shortages, staffing shortages, “woke” intrusions, political enmity, inflation, and on and on.
I once thought it was a rationalization to say things like, “Yes, we’re having a hard time, but thank goodness we all have our health.” Or, “The best thing that ever happened to me was getting fired.” (Certainly true for me.) I call this “synthetic happiness” (as opposed to “traditional happiness” found in births, anniversaries, promotions, and so forth).
When I ask some people how they’re doing, they reply, “Better than the alternative!” I was watching photos of very young men in landing craft heading for the D-Day beaches in Normandy, looking scared and petrified. We’ve seen people on ventilators in hospitals who are dependent on machines. We recently saw a madman in a truck mow down peaceful citizens simply marching in a parade.
I’m not saying that life is grand simply because someone else is worse off. We have to be realistic and we have to take accountability for improving our lives (and those of others). But there is a great blast of refreshing oxygen in just being alive, knowing that we have control (usually more than we think), and living in an environment where we can apply our talents and skills and be recognized for them.
I am saying that Thanksgiving Day memorializes an event and an ideal. But pure thanksgiving should be a daily presence, daily gift, daily belief. In that way we can rejoice in our good fortune, help ourselves, and help others on a constant basis.
I’m saying that gratitude is an attitude.
If every moment is sacred, and If you are amazed and in awe most of the time when you find yourself breathing and not crazy, then you are in a state of constant thankfulness, worship and humility. —Bernice Johnson Reagon
All our discontents about what we want appeared to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have. —Daniel Defoe
I look at the past with appreciation, and I look to the future with anticipation. But I look around in the present with gratitude. —Alan Weiss