count your blessings

I try to live with an attitude of gratitude and appreciation. I would credit my parents for this outlook on life. However, every so often we look around and may be tempted to fall into the trap of asking questions such as “How did he land the job he has?”, “How are they able to afford that big of a house?”, “Why isn’t my health as good as his?”, or “How are they able to take expensive vacations each year?”

We aren’t as good as asking questions in the other direction such as “Why didn’t I get cancer?”, “Why didn’t my child commit suicide?”, “Why didn’t I lose my job?”, or “Why didn’t my spouse become a paraplegic?”

I had a conversation with a friend today who has been blasted the past few years with misfortune after misfortune, none which she created and one which will weigh heavy on her for perhaps the next 40 years. I felt really sad for her – she is such a wonderful person and living a life all of us would admire. She possesses so many desirable traits – hard working, loyal, great mom and spouse, kind, gentle, optimistic, and friendly.

There was nothing I could say to change her circumstances but I tried to offer words of encouragement and advice to make the best of her situation. She told me my words were helpful and I hope they were but if they weren’t she would be too nice to tell me otherwise.

After I hung up the phone I began to think about the many things I have taken for granted and wondered what was so special about me that I hadn’t suffered through trials like she has. The answer to this question is above my comprehension – I certainly don’t believe I deserve to be spared troubles that others have to experience.

This blog may not inspire you to make drastic changes in your lifestyle and achieve great success; however I hope it provides the gift of having you take pause and appreciate all that you do have. You should feel especially thankful if you can answer “No” to the following:

  • Do you have a life threating illness?
  • Are members of your family homeless? In prison? Struggling with mental illness?
  • Have you lost your job?
  • Are you struggling to pay your bills?
  • Are you without friends?
  • Are you suicidal? At serious risk for heart disease? Stroke?
  • Have members of your family cut off communication with you?

In the event you answered “Yes” to one or more above the questions, you are probably experiencing some of the discouragement and frustration my friend has been feeling. If you can provide a “No” answer to all these questions, consider yourself blessed because  you truly are!

Success is appreciating all the good thinks you have in your life.