Monday, November 24, 2014

Thankfulness


Thanksgiving has always held a very special place in my heart. It is the holiday in which I become the most introspective because it really makes a person stop and appreciate everything they have to be thankful for. 

It is one of the most interesting aspects of the human condition that we tend to highlight and dwell on the negative as opposed to the positive. We love to focus on our have-nots as opposed to our haves. We focus on what is wrong, rather than what is right. We focus on what we don't have, rather than what we do have.

No matter how bad we have it, there is always somebody out there who has it worse. Does that negate any problems that we are going through? Of course not. 

But it definitely puts them in perspective. 

Somebody out there would give anything to have the very problems that we have. In essence, we take for granted things that other people could only dream of having
Sometimes it's nice just to sit back and appreciate the things we are blessed with. If we were to sit down and write a list of all the things we have to be truly thankful for, it would very likely blow our minds. If we could switch our focus to these things, we would be looking at life through a totally new and beautiful lens. 

So no matter how many things may be going wrong in our lives, let us never lose sight of all the things going right. No matter how many things cause us anxiety, let us never lose sight of all the things that bring us joy. No matter how many things bring tears to our eyes, let us never forget the things that bring smiles to our faces
Let us always be thankful. 

Happy Thanksgiving week to my wonderful blogging family :)

What are your thoughts? Is it the natural human condition to focus on what we don't have as opposed to what we have? Do you practice thankfulness? 

172 comments:

  1. Natural for us to drift toward the negative? Probably.
    I lead a really blessed life and I try not to forget it.

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  2. Such a beautiful reminder, Keith! We all have so much to be thankful for. Big or small, life should be celebrated.

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  3. Thanksgiving is a curious celebration to Australians. We don't have an equivalent and while Halloween has now infiltrated our country, there is no sign of anything connected to Thanksgiving. Is there a connection to say a prayer at meal time, may the lord thank us for this meal. That is, it is based on a religion?

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  4. I think in order to be thankful you have to work on it at first. It starts off as a conscious decision. But then the more you do it, the easier it becomes until gratitude becomes second nature.

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  5. Appreciating what you have is not always easy because it is easier to take it for granted. A bit like worrying about your health: when it’s good you never think of it.

    It’s sad that we are not more aware of the good things in life, but you must admit that it’s human nature. It would also be very good not to need a special day for being thankful, like thinking of your mum only on Mother’s Day, etc.

    Having something go wrong and feeling the pain of it does not automatically make me think of others who are in a worse state than me. I think that’s a fallacy. My pain is my pain, the only pain I feel at this moment.

    Did you ever hear as a child : eat your spinach, there are 1000s of children in China who have nothing to eat. I always wanted to reply: well, they can have my spinach.

    After all that, may I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving and don’t eat too much!

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  6. I have been on both sides.... negative and positive... positive is always better but not always easy...

    After dealing with losing 'him' I rarely complain about the little things that go wrong... I have to work on it all the time..

    Have an amazing holiday Keith ;-)

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  7. I am thankful everyday for what I do 'have' ... I myself have had it a lot worse over the years ... and am grateful everyday for how my life has changed for the better, and what I do have now :) And PS ... got your card!! SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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  8. I think a lot of people focus on what they don't have. That drive is one of the things that got humans to where they are today. I agree we should be more thankful but I'm not too surprised we aren't. We need that focus, that drive, to keep on being the best we can be.

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  9. I am very blessed. Sometimes it is easier to whine, I think, than to be grateful.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

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  10. I try to stay focused on the positive in my life, and wake up every day thankful. It's truly a mindset. We get caught up in the commercialism (ads, commercials) in this first world we live in and forget that material goods do not make us happy, no matter how much we think they do. Sometimes we get a rude awakening by losing someone to sickness or a tragedy, or by getting sick ourselves, which is sad. We shouldn't need to reach that point to look around and appreciate the good things in our lives. Wonderful post! Have a beautiful Thanksgiving.

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  11. There's ALWAYS someone worse off than you are. Everything is relative. From across the Pond, Thanksgiving is a fascinating feast. I'm told they celebrate in Plymouth too :-)

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  12. I don't know if it's natural. I'm pretty sure it's not. I think our focus on what we don't have is partly the fault of American media consumption. Watch any TV show and then pay attention to the commercials. Almost every since commercial is telling you that "you're missing something" or "you're not good enough the way you are" or "buy more! buy bigger! more, more, more!". I'm guilty of getting sucked up in all of it, but the older I get the more conscious of it I get. And I really try to correct myself when I start thinking like that. Because I DO have tons to be thankful for. It doesn't help anyone to dwell on the negative.

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  13. Ah yes, perspective. It really is all about how we step back and take a look at things in our lives and then take a peek at other's struggles. In recovery, we are taught the importance of gratitude lists and keeping them updated. It's a great way to stay optimistic.

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  14. Amen! Good message! It's very important to be thankful for all the good things we have.

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  15. Great reminder! Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.... :)

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  16. so true. i need a reminder for myself every once in awhile for all the good things that i am blessed with. that 2 bad days cannot sweep away the 363 good days in a year that you have. i agree with you. it's human nature that we always focus on what we don't have - that's why we need someone, people, events that remind us to be thankful. happy thanksgiving Keith! hope you have a great week

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  17. Happy Thanksgiving Keith! I should be more thankful, as you say, there is so much to be thankful for, maybe even some of the bad things are for the best.

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  18. A very happy Thanksgiving to you too!

    To be honest, being thankful is what I'm not good at. And every time I try to see my life from a new, privileged perspective, it somehow makes me feel like the owner of an unfair share of the world. What did I do different than many others except being born in a particular place to a particular family (as if that was a conscious choice; "Hey ho! Reserve that family for me. Coming through.") But I try to do well with what I have and feel like I somehow deserve it because I can and am making good use of it. That keeps the complaining in check. With all the tips and tricks of a happy care-free living floating about, it's difficult (at least for me) to form a perspective and stick to it (because none of them are ultimately, infallible).

    Note to self: Learn how to write in brief. :)

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  19. be thankful is something so easy to forget, until something slaps you in the head to make you realize just how very very lucky we are, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving,

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  20. I'm thankful for a special friend like you. Thanks for checking out on me. Everything is well except I've been busy and I'm slow to post on my blog and prefer to comment on followers blogs.

    What you said is so right on. I don't think I can add to it.
    All I know when I focus on the negative, I'm not as happy as when I focus on the positive.

    Happy Thanksgiving Keith.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  21. I meant "Thanks for checking in on me". lol.
    JB

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  22. focal on the negative comes naturally, focus on the good we have to practice. this AM at our YMCA there was no hot water in our showers. brrrrr cold water. I only rinsed off quickly. on the way home I said to Bob, that water froze me but i started to think of people who have no water, no shower and would love a cold shower. one thing led to another and we started listing what we have and love... Bob said... do we know anyone at all that we would trade places with? the answer is no...

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  23. If we could all change our focus... reminds me of the proverb about the man who complained he had no shoes until he saw a man who had no feet. Thankfulness should be for everyday not reserved for Thursday.

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  24. Happy thanksgiving people, believe it.

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  25. Focusing on what we don't have is an aspect of a negative personality. Some people are negative by nature, others are positive by nature. Gratitude comes easily to positive people. Human nature contains both types of personalities, I believe.

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  26. I love the idea of Thanksgiving. Everyone comes together to form a bond.

    I was just talking to one of my sisters - She wants to get a giant piece of paper, and have people write on it what they are thankful for. I told her that a paper table cloth would also work.

    I'm just hoping (fingers crossed) that members in my own family do not get the stomach flu. It seems like every year someone gets sick with it. It puts a damper on the holiday when that happens. One year, two years ago I had 2 kids with the stomach flu. My in-laws wanted us to come to MO., we traveled the 6 hours to get there. We thought the kids were over it. Over it - nope. It's not fun cleaning that stuff up at home; it's really not fun cleaning that stuff up at someone else's house.

    The in-laws moved to southern CA. We're not traveling this year. If anyone does get sick, at least we're close to home.

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  27. I do think it is the human condition to focus on the negative. I work hard all year long to remain positive and turn to the light of spirit when I am in the dark. Thanks for the reminder, Keith. Have a wonderful holiday.

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  28. A very thought provoking post. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  29. I've found that I have to focus on being grateful. Somehow my thoughts run first to what I don't have, but I'm trying to train myself to give thanks for everything I do have. Thanksgiving in itself is a wonderful holiday.

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  30. Hi Keith - the negative is put across so strongly in the media .. it's almost anaesthetised - some is so appalling. When I am having hassles I count my blessings and sometime look forward to helping others a great deal ...

    Have a happy thanksgiving ... something we don't do here - too near Christmas - except the day is becoming a theme .. which in some ways is good - offers an alternative for long distance get togethers not possible at Christmas. Enjoy - Hilary

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  31. I live with a Negative Nelly so sometime's it's really hard to remain positive and upbeat and thankful....it's a work in progress for me.

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  32. I do count my blessings and try to put my best foot forward even when the other foots not working . Despite many a problem I've found the best way to help alleviate them is to give something good of yourself to someone . The blogging, sharing the farm and what I love helps remind me of all the blessings I do have despite the sometimes not so great things that happen in life in general.

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  33. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving by the way Keith :)

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  34. I read one time that the happiest people are the most grateful people. That's why you're so happy, Keith, because you appreciate everything around you, from a sunrise to a smile. Here's to thankful people, like you!

    ~Sheri

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  35. I need to practice thankfulness more than I do. I follow a lady's blog who intentionally and daily and has so for years lives a life of gratitude and thanksgiving. I strive to do so, but struggle. I tend to look at the glass half empty type of philosophy, but I have so much to be thankful for. I do try to spend a little time most days being grateful. It is also sobering to be around others who have less and are grateful for what is given to them. I teared up watching a lady interviewed who was getting a free early Thanksgiving meal at the rescue mission here and how grateful she and her fellow homeless people were that she was able to get daily meals from the different organizations that put them on throughout the year on a daily basis. Puts things into perspective when you really truly realize how blessed you are compared to so many others and what I take for granted like running water, other people in other countries walk miles daily for clean fresh water. So yes, I am grateful, but I need to be so much more.

    betty

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  36. I am daily grateful for what I have and I'm not just uttering that so I can be a holier than thou pompous ass. My wants have always been very simple and my priority is good health. I know my good fortune to have reached my age without ever having been ill.

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  37. It is being bogged down by negatives that bring things to a standstill. One is not alone and that makes it all the more interesting as variety is always there. And being thankful is being appreciative. Happy Thanksgiving Keith!

    Hank

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  38. Yes, Thanksgiving is the best holiday of all!

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  39. What? I'm positive things are negative. That is still positive, right? lol True indeed, always someone who has it worse, well mostly always.

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  40. i try to say my 'gratitudes' every day for little things all the way through.

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  41. I practice thankfulness every day, almost every moment, of my life.
    I never go to sleep without thinking (rewinding) my day and put that exercise you suggest into focus.
    Today, and thanks to the media, we are always in touch with so many negative things. How can we not stop and brief a sight of relief for not having gone through that?! Just read about a baby who was put on a drain to die. Yes, it is true my mother never loved me, I never had a Prairie House family or home but boy do I feel lucky I was allowed to grow with health and build my own Prairie House and Family.
    So many blessings bestowed upon us. Every minute of the day.
    Let's be Grateful for those who open locked rooms in our souls and allow us to see the blessings.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and Home, Keith!

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  42. So true - the world would be a more beautiful place if we appreciated what we have instead of complaining about what we don't have.

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  43. I LOVE Thanksgiving! For while there are things for which I am NOT thankful (take a look at me), I have so many other blessings. I'm a lucky guy (Mrs. Penwasser probably doesn't think she's so lucky, though).

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  44. I am grateful for many, many things in my life and I can always find more. I feel a profound thankfulness for this journey. When I focus on the positives, I receive more of them. I love this post and I am thankful for your big heart, humor, sharing and insights Keith. Thank you for being here. Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving Keith!!

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  45. We should make every day Thanksgiving! I am thankful all the time. And I know if you focus on what you have to be thankful for, then the bad times are a bit better to go through. I totally agree with you! I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

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  46. I try to be thankful every day and realize that I really have a wonderful life. That comes in especially handy when a bad day comes around. Some people are never satisfied and therefore never grateful for what they DO have. I agree Thanksgiving is the best holiday! Have a lovely one!

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  47. We do tend to focus on the negative, don't we? I think there is a philosophical, spiritual reason for that, but making a conscious effort to practice thankfulness is one I wish we would all follow!

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  48. I try to force myself to practice thankfulness. I have a gratitude journal that I write in at least once a week (usually more) so I can focus on the things I am thankful for instead of the things that I don't have.

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  49. Happy Thanksgiving Keith. Thank you for the great blog posts you write and thank you to the lovely folks who posted all those comments before mine, they've spoken my thoughts.

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  50. Thank you for the reminder. I keep a little notebook by my bed and try to write down everyday what I'm grateful for. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday because of the gratitude. And there's the food, everyone brining some old favorite comfort food linked at least for me to good memories. Have a great Thanksgiving Keith.

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  51. Yes, I'd say, it's in the human habit whining about what is bad..While it's not productive it's also attract even more bad things....just the law of attraction. When you focus on positive things, your personality changes, you become happier and it's contagious for others too. More good things start to get attracted to you... ~ Thankfully I practice gratitude daily...

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  52. Happy Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours, Keith...!!!!

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  53. Well, I'm thankful that RGIII got to play at least one more game even if the Redskins (the name may be more a negative than a positive) are losing--again. :-)

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  54. I know I'm going to sound like a goodie goodie but the truth is I'm grateful for everything from my hot shower to the mulling spices I put in my coffee. I am seriously in love with my life and, like you, I don't take it for granted for one second.

    Happy Thanksgiving, sweet soul!

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  55. I'm on the positive side of things for the most part. I do see a lot of negative things though and I see the ones that are selling that negativity, but that's another post/comment for another time.

    I am more than blessed. Far more blessed than I ever dreamed. I also think it's a frame of mind not what you have or you don't have. There is so much to be thankful for.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

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  56. I think that people that focus on the negative are missing the whole purpose of life. I also believe that they are damaging their health and well being. We are not on this earth to have everything our greedy hearts can image. We are here to enjoy the beauty of this earth and the God who created it. If we are doing this, our days are filled with thanksgiving, because there is so much to be grateful for. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, too. Not because . . . Oh, today I'll count by blessing' but because it is a day when families members have a day off from work to all gather together and it is a holiday that does not require the stress of gift giving. If we really knew the conditions that so many people of the world are living in, we would be thanking the Lord each day we woke up and put our feet on the floor in a shelter with clean air and clean water. We are blessed and blessed abundantly.

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  57. Being thankful sometimes takes a concentrated effort. What we *want* is always on our minds, and I do tend to be very goal-oriented. I look ahead and see what I need/want to accomplish. This year I will try very hard to take that one day and simply be grateful for what I already have.

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  58. You said it so eloquently I am not sure I can add anything more. I do believe we seem to look always at the negative and some people just love to complain whether it is about the weather, traffic, work...whatever. People would not know what to do if they couldn't complain. I just love what you wrote and one should be thankful for what we do have and not complain about what we don't have. What we take for granted in our part of the world would be considered a luxury in another

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  59. I have a tendency to not do this enough. My energies are often consumed with the job, the kids, and the writing-thing, so I often take it all for granted. Thanks for the reminder.

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  60. I always try to be thankful everyday for what God has given us. Sometimes I do not accomplish this but am continually trying.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

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  61. I think negativity has a bigger impact on us and that's why we focus on it more. I do try to find things I'm thankful for daily. Something fun to do is to keep a working journal of three things you're grateful for every day. :)

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family, Keith!

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  62. Ah I badly needed this reminder to be grateful.Thank you ever so much Keith !
    Happy Thanksgiving day ! :)

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  63. Great thoughts. I totally agree with you. Thank you so much and Happy Thanksgiving.

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  64. Amen, Keith. You are so prolific and so darn likeable.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. xo

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  65. Great reminder and I absolutely agree! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  66. I believe that thankfulness is vital if we are striving to live a life of purpose, of love, and of humility..
    And I love this post. Thanks for constantly reminding your fellow bloggers of what's truly important in life.
    The happiest of thanksgivings to you, Keith!

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  67. It's true you can always look around and find someone worse off then yourself. I try to be thankful every day. Have a nice Thanksgiving.

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  68. As Andrew said, we don't do Thanksgiving here in Oz. That said, there is soooo much I am thankful for. On the worst day, and in my worst mood as well.

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  69. I think we have to make a conscious effort to be thankful. It is easy sometime to be lulled into not thinking at all about what all we have. I think Thanksgiving is a good time to TRULY take time as a family to think about with everyone what each person is thankful for. Sometimes I have done this around the Thanksgiving table...... Happy Thanksgiving to you, Keith.

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  70. Keith
    I am oh so looking forward to your forthcoming christmas fest

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  71. Oh, we have so very much and are so very blessed. Why is it that we seem to want more? I am truly thankful for all that is around me - and for being able to wake up each morning as part of this wonderful creation! Happy Thanksgiving, Keith!

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  72. I'm pretty much thankful to wake up in the morning with the realization that I have yet another day to live! It's a delicious feeling...a whole new day to create...

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  73. I am thankful every day for everyone and everything in my life. Happy Thanksgiving, Keith.

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  74. After my divorce, I became more thankful. Rather than live in a big, fancy house that I couldn't clean to my husband's satisfaction, I now have my own little bungalow. It's cozy and pleasant. I'm grateful to be here. I'm a new follower. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Love,
    Janie Junebug

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  75. happy thanksgiving! we don't have thanksgiving in my country, but it's great to contemplate our blessings everyday! :D

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  76. Wonderful thoughts. I have learned to actually take note of everything that goes right - because it could have just as well gone wrong.
    Nice to find your blog. I will be back. : )

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  77. I think most people don't realize how good a life they really have and that is sad because it keeps them from being happy.
    I am a thankful type person and I thank God every day for my many blessings.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you Keith. : )

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  78. I am such a blessed person that I have little time to wallow in the don't haves. I have survived Cancer, I have managed a life where things are not really easy but they sure aren't hard either. And I have family I love that loves me. Wow. am I lucky. This is a great season to refill our gratitude banks. Have a great Thanksgiving. Good post Keith.

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  79. I think it's human nature - to a degree (especially in the west) to focus on what we don't have as opposed to what we do have. It is shallow and selfish, however, when we do come to our senses, we realise just how fortunate we all are. I know I do.

    We don't have Thanksgiving Down Under, but I wish you a happy day nevertheless :)

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  80. Since I've gotten more serious about my relationship with God, my eyes have been opened to my blessings more. Even the trials have something of value if we learn from them.

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  81. I love Thanksgiving ---and try hard to see the glass half full rather than half empty... I (we all) do have so much in our lives to be thankful for --even though the negative things do happen... I always say that it's all about attitude and choices...

    Happy Thanksgiving
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  82. We know who isn't truly thankful for what they have. Black Friday shoppers

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  83. Great post, Keith! I agree! I know I am blessed and thankful for all I have.. And yes, things could always be worse.. Wishing you and your a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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  84. Being thankful comes easier with age - as you don't quite know how long you have left.

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  85. I suppose evolutionary-wise, it makes more sense that we would focus on what we don't have since we'd use the drive to keep us going. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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  86. I loved this post, Keith! Such an important message! I do think we tend to get stuck wishing for the things we don't have or striving for the wrong definition of success. It's important to be grateful for our blessings. I make a point of thinking of three things I'm grateful for every morning. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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  87. It's been a testing few days so I needed to hear this message today. Thanks Keith. Happy Thanksgiving for this weekend.

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  88. I think I'm happy with the completeness of soul, for the last 12 years. In this I include contentment. And I try to be thankful each day.

    Yes I think we always want what we don't have. Not sure why either.

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  89. Keith always I loved Thanksgiving I think is beautiful! But we dont have here.But I think is really important be grateful!
    Happy thanksgiving to you and all you love!

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  90. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it with us. Practicing gratitude is part of my daily life: I have a gratitude journal.
    It's easy to find things to be thankful for. Being able to breathe and enjoy a new day is one of them, for instance. Life is a miracle in itself.
    Happy Thanksgiving Day! :)

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  91. Nice post. Yes, I do make it a habit to daily remember the many blessings that are mine, giving thanks to God for things like running water, warm showers, pets, flowers, clouds, grandchildren, etc. etc. I could give you a long list every day. lol

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  92. I don't often remember to use my gratitude journal, but I find it rewarding when I do. It's so true that there are always others with worse problems. I am thankful for what I have. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  93. We are spoiled. And I wish we could 'practice' thanksgiving every day.
    I try to give of myself on a daily basis. But, sometimes the world is just too much for me. I find it very difficult.
    I am so thankful for my blogging sisters & brothers. They make my life rich and full.
    Thoughts of you and Beate!!

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  94. There is always someone who has it worse. We just have to remember that in tough times

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  95. Based on the amount of complaining I hear versus the joy that I hear, I'd say that humans are more inclined to focus on what we don't have; however, the people who we choose to share our lives with makes a difference in how much complaining we hear. I try to have positive friends which also helps my attitude - to see the glass half full instead of half empty. Also, I notice the difference in people who are joyful because they have acquired some new material thing and those who enjoy living because of the simple things in life.
    This is my first visit here; I enjoyed your post.

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  96. I think too many people are still focused on keeping up with "the Joneses." Thanksgiving used to be a wonderful day here at my house. This year I will just be happy for the day after. I am thankful for all of the memories that I have and soon it will be time to make new ones but not now. I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful day.

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  97. Nothing exists outside of our box....that's how people think. It's a me, mine and I world...sad!
    Have a wonderful thanksgiving my friend! :)
    Cheri

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  98. Keith,

    You have captured the true meaning of being thankful..sometimes in life we forget the things that are positive as we dwell on the negative. Thank you for the gentle reminder. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

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  99. My family was kinda poor when I was growing up, so it's ingrained in me not to ask for anything, and to be grateful for whatever we have. It's a good way to be, because it actually keeps me quite contented.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  100. OP what an awesome post! A thankful heart is one of the most beautiful things. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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  101. Very well said! Let us be grateful and humble!

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  102. You are so right, Keith! I guess it's human nature... the grass is greener on the other side... Your thoughtful post reminds us of the important things. Thank you!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  103. You're right, it is so easy to focus on negatives as opposed to positives. But we should actively practice thankfulness! An attitude of gratitude makes for a heart content, I think. Happy Thanksgiving Keith, hope you enjoy your holiday!

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  104. I do think there are times when I let my mind slip into "why not more", "why not this or that" but it seems so futile for me to let my mind slip into that trap. I tend to begin my days with thinking the good, what I look forward to, what has happened the day before that brought smiles and promise. And I let those moments rest in my heart with thankfulness.
    Each day is a new day . . .

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  105. I find the older I get, the more humbled and thankful I am. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Keith!

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  106. I do my best to dwell in the good memories and be thankful to have them.

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  107. A life of appreciating what we have when we have it, is a life full of joy and contentment.

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  108. I can't think of a single word to add to that. You nailed it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  109. you expressed your sentiments wonderfully. i appreciate your thoughts on my post.

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  110. You're right Keith :"we take for granted things that other people could only dream of having" It's sad that we have no this Thanksgiving day here....

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  111. hi Keith,
    I agree it is sooooooo important to stop and reflect on what we DO have. We are so infinately blessed. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. I practice thankfulness when I paint, most of my subject matter is inspired by thankful moments I have enjoyed.

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  112. it seems as if every time I read one of your posts, it is exactly what I needed to read at that moment, and today is no different. As optimistic as I strive to be, I still have many days in which I want to throw a pity party. Thank you for putting things in perspective. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

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  113. Beautiful thoughts. It's been easy to take for granted our amazing blessings lately, because there have been so many! A new house. A new baby... Of course, both of those mean more work and a little extra exhaustion, and it sometimes so easy to get caught up in the weariness, but I have been thinking that last couple days how amazing our lives are. In fact, reading back over an old journal really put it into perspective. Life rocks.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

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  114. Hi Optimistic Existentialist, I am your newest follower. Your post today on being thankful is absolutely wonderful. You know, these days, with the internet, they talk about things "going viral". I wish there was a way to make your post today go viral! This would be so helpful to so many! And thank you for your kind comment on my blog. John

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  115. I am so thankful for the person you are Keith and so very glad that you are in my life. Your words each time have made me think so much ever since I've "known" you. I am also grateful you let me share your posts on the High Plains Observer in my little Texas Panhandle town. I know my readers appreciate you also. Have a very blessed season this week my friend.

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  116. I think perhaps is has become the norm to focus on what we have not, as opposed to what we have...I know I often fall into that particular trap.
    I do, however keep trying to consciously think only of the positive aspects of my life. After all, doesn't it follow that what we focus on we get more of...so focusing on what we lack will only serve to bring more of the same into our lives?
    |, too, am so thankful for having "met" you, Keith.
    Just reading your inspiring posts always lifts my spirits and has me thinking positive!

    Have a magical Thanksgiving!! :)

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  117. Happy Thanksgiving Keith! :) I am the most thankful for my new Nikkor 16-85 mm lens at the moment what I bought yesterday.

    But joking aside, you are right about it that it is good to stop for a moment and be thankful for all what we have, instead of thinking about what we don`t all the time.

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  118. Well said! I always try to focus on the positive, it is way too easy to get hung up on the bad stuff. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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  119. I practice gratitude daily. I believe it's what makes my life good even when it's bad. There's a silver lining to absolutely everything.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  120. I share inspirational quotes on my Facebook fan page. Interestingly, the one I have chosen for Thanksgiving addresses this topic: "Ingratitude creates a pessimistic view of life. Appreciation develops a positive perspective. Always remember to be thankful." -- Unknown

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  121. Hallo Keith!

    Normalerweise schreibe ich auch gern meine Kommentare auf Englisch, aber da Du ja lernen möchtest: für Dich auf Deutsch. Ich wünsche Dir frohes Thanksgiving. Hier wird das ja nicht so gefeiert, aber Deine Worte haben mich sehr berührt. Ich finde, man sollte nie vergessen, wie gut es einem geht. Das hast Du sehr schön in Worte gefasst. Dein Blog ist ganz fantastisch, daher werde ich mich gleich als Follower eintragen und würde mich freuen, Dich auch bald mal wieder auf meinem Blog zu treffen.

    Ich wünsche Dir einen schönen Abend und schicke Dir liebe Grüße! Ellen

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  122. what a great post, lots of "food for thought" which seems especially appropriate just before t-giving! :) i was lucky enough to stumble on, some years ago, clare grant-law's blog, "three beautiful things" and was very impressed (still am, actually) by her brilliantly simple idea: to look around for and WRITE DOWN three things (however large or small) each day that gave her pleasure. b/c while i suspect that it probably *is* our natural instinct to notice and focus on negative "squeaky wheel" type things; i was pleasantly surprised to find out that when i intentionally went looking for positive things... they really weren't especially hard to find; and once that becomes a habit, the "gratitude attitude" just sort of spontaneously arrives. i also believe that both positive AND negative attitudes are highly addictive and also highly contagious; so we kind of owe it to ourselves to cultivate as much positivity as possible. thus i thank you for spreading a little more joy thru the world, and wish you an especially happy thanksgiving!

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  123. Happy Thanksgiving! Beautiful post!

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  124. One of my favorite quotes (I posed on it on Insta yesterday actually).... Take time to be thankful for what you have. You could always have more, but you could also have less.
    www.amemoryofus.com

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  125. Must be human nature to take what we have and see everyday for granted. Luckily we have built into our society reminders for appreciation.

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  126. i think in the present, we tend to focus on the negative but it is interesting how we often romanticize the past....the hard edges lose their grit the further we get from them.....hope you have a day filled with much to be grateful for this week....smiles.

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  127. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  128. Gratitude is a constant practice, one that requires effort and persistence. A Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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  129. Thanksgiving is truly my favorite holiday, probably because it's the least commercialized. I always make a huge effort to think about all the things I'm most thankful for. This year we discussed feeling thankful every night at dinner. I printed out some "I'm so thankful for".... conversation starters and the girls could take turns taking a slip out of the jar and discussing that topic. I also got "The Thankful Book" by Todd Parr (I'm a HUGE FAN) and we read it out loud at dinner. I'm a big music person so we each chose a song we were thankful for and played it at dinner. To be honest, I'll miss our dinners when November is over. But I'll be very excited when we do the same next year! I'm very thankful to have you as one of my blogging friends ~ hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  130. I definitely think that we have a lot of self pity...and then we hear what someone else is going through and we go oh man, my stuff is not that bad! it's nice to just be thankful for what we have and not what we would like. live in the moment! great thoughts.

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  131. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family...I hope you enjoy your day...and that it is a relaxing day. :)

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  132. It's so important to appreciate those we love, and to be thankful for having them in our lives. Yes, we'll always want more toys, but they're not as much fun when we have no one to share them with. Great post Keith! Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

    Julie

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  133. It sounds old fashioned but every morning when I meditate I count my blessings. We can change the way we look at things. Negative thinking is a habit, a self feeding and destructive habit. It can be broken and actually just means changing our habitual thinking from negative to positive. This benefits ourselves and all those who come into contact with us. I always like your posts because a lot of posts on Facebook are so negative. Blessings to you.

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  134. Great post, Keith, yes, we do tend to focus on the negative as a society. We are a culture of whiners :) It takes discipline to turn your focus and thoughts to searching for the positive, but it is well worth cultivating this mindfulness for all the positive outcomes of better health, better relationships, being open to opportunities and being pleasant to be around! Nobody likes an ungrateful whiner..Besides, like attracts like, and when you are constantly complaining and ungrateful, you just attract negative things and people into your life. An attitude of gratitude is my motto. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend. xo Karen

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  135. We don't have Thanksgiving here in Belgium, and that's a pity because its spirit is so beautiful and true. I'm one of the many people who tends to focus on what I don't have. I was incredibly grateful during my latest travels, though. But on the other hand, I think it's normal to focus on what we don't have, otherwise we wouldn't be setting goals either.

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  136. I agree! Funny, was just having a conversation on this very topic today.

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  137. Wonderful perspective and I quite agree with you. We don’t have thanksgiving here, but we celebrate harvesting festivals to thank whatever supports us in farming, which provide the base for living. I don’t think a day is enough to thank what all we get throughout the year, but at least we remembered certain things on this day.

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  138. I think our distant ancesters had to focus on what they didn't have, because life was so hard for them and that has become hard wired into us. It partly also explains why there is so much obesity, we crave fats and sugars because they used to be difficult to find in our hunting gathering days, but now that they're all around us, we still crave them and sometimes can't control the cravings well enough...

    I think advertising has a lot to answer for as well as it is designed to make us think we need things that in fact we don't need,

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  139. Happy Thanksgiving Keith! Sometimes I forget to count my blessings :/ but this is a great time to do it!

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  140. Counting my blessings...I have LOTS of them....and I count your blogger friendship among them. Happy Thanks Giving :) Dee♥

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  141. Wow, this was a fantastic read! We daily need to take a step back and look at all the blessing we have in our lives. This post really reminded me to do so. I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving! :)

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  142. Happy Thanksgiving! I love remembering the things I am grateful for and appreciating the things I DO have. Great post!

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  143. I am always thankful for every thing I have been blessed with. I wish that every one else gets what their heart desires.
    Happy thanksgiving to you and yours.

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  144. Enjoyed your post, Keith! I believe Thanksgiving should be more of lifestyle than a holiday. It sounds like you feel the same. Happy Thanksgiving.

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  145. A good message, being thankful for what we have. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  146. I try to be thankful for something everyday ...some days are better than others, but gratitude, for me, always puts things in to perspective. Happy Thanksgiving friend!

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  147. Lovely sentiments. Wishing a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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  148. A thoughtful articulation of how we - in the western world - tend to take for granted so much that many in other parts of the world can only dream of. Given the price that the entire planet has paid (and continues to pay) to satisfy our insatiable expectations, that is a message that can not be reiterated enough and is, particularly, timely at this time of the year.

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  149. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

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  150. I always focus on the positive. I am absolutely blessed in so many ways. Thanksgiving is a special day to stop and say THANKS to our God, enjoy family, food and friends. And so we will.

    Big hugs, honey...

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  151. Have a great thanksgiving my friend :-)

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  152. Wonderful post! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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  153. Any time I'm overwhelmed with things that aren't going so well, it helps to remember that I always have a warm and dry shelter, food in the fridge, and indoor plumbing. There are many who do not have such simple things that we take for granted.

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  154. Lovely post. Very thoughtful. Happy thanksgiving to you.

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  155. Growing up, I was subjected to many stodgy Thanksgivings with Rules That Must Be Followed. It didn't become a cool holiday for me until several years ago. I'm most thankful that it did.

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  156. shoot, my comment just timed out really quickly, I'll be brief, thank you is something we say for everyday and not just the good ones

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  157. It is important to remember the good around us. Beautiful post. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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  158. Hey Keith,

    I'm thankful to you because you gave me an idea. I should start asking a question at the end of my posts! :)

    Seriously, I'm full of thankfulness that I'm not into some materialistic competition out of envy because somebody has something I don't have.

    Hope you had a great American style Thanksgiving, Keith.

    Gary

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  159. Yes, I think it is natural to want more. Striving is probably part of the instinct we needed to survive for most of human history. But I do practice thankfulness and it helps keep me sane. Probably...

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  160. I think it's good to remember. One of my friends does 30 days of thanksgiving on her facebook page. She lists something to be thankful for every day, which is a great idea.

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  161. I think it's natural to see what we could have and want some more than we have.

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  162. Happy Thanksgiving to you too! not sure if everyone is the same but it seems a lot of us tend to focus on the negative. Definitely a problem for me and I try to consciously recognize it and stop myself from doing it. A lifelong journey I think.

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  163. It really makes a person stop and appreciate everything they have to be thankful for? No, it makes YOU stop and appreciate everything you have to be thankful for. There's a difference. Many, I'm afraid, think of Thanksgiving as a day off, followed by a whole lot of mindless shopping. But there is always hope. Yes, we tend to take for granted what we have. Our health (if we're lucky) is one thing. A job (if we're lucky) is another, not to mention everyone we love.

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  164. Personally, I find that with age, it's much easier to focus on what I do have, rather than what I don't :)
    Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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  165. There is nothing more important than being grateful for all that we are blessed with. I believe we're infinitely blessed, everything that catches glimpse is a blessing. Thanksgiving is the most crucial one.
    Personally I wish to make each day of my life a thanksgiving day. Thank you for writing this Keith.

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  166. Hello Keith,
    I have nominated you for the very inspiring blogger award. Please go to my blog to find out more.
    http://deadrosesandweepingfigs.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award.html
    cheers

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    1. hello keith, just wanted to let you know i have moved my blog to a different address...please go to wordsareoxygen.blogspot.com to find it...have a great weekend :-)

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