It's so much easier to notice and pay attention to
those things we have, those things that we have
received--or those things that we wish and hope for, but
don't receive. It's a bit more difficult to keep in
mind all of the things that haven't happened to us that
would make our lives much more difficult, and actually to
feel gratitude that those things haven't been a part of
I try to be thankful for being able to run every time I go
running. There are so many things that could have
kept me from running over the years, and they simply
haven't happened at all. When I eat, I sometimes
think of people who have lost their sense of taste or who
have digestive tract disorders, and I'm very thankful that
I haven't had to deal with either type of issue.
There are so many things that haven't happened to me that
it would be downright silly not to be thankful for having
avoided those things.
Sometimes our problems outweigh our gratitude in our
minds. Sometimes it's not that easy to feel a sense
of gratitude for what we have, especially when it seems
that we never have quite enough. But when those
times come, as our unattributed author reminds us, it
could be very beneficial to us to keep in mind those
pitfalls and obstacles that haven't come into our lives,
and to feel thanks for having avoided their touch.
Ideally, we'll always be grateful for what we have.
Ideally, we also should be grateful for those things that
we've avoided. The fire or tornado that's never
destroyed our house, the illnesses that we haven't had,
the crises that haven't visited us--there's an almost
unlimited quantity of gratitude wrapped up in these
things, if we only keep them in mind for a short while.