Thankfulness

I was talking with a friend last night about helping people in need.  It was very disheartening to hear her comments.  She has a relative who is rather proud of the fact that she’s homeless and feels as though she’s somehow better than others.  It was totally mind boggling to be living on handouts from others and then think of one self as somehow better.

Then we shifted to helping at the homeless shelter.  My friend was at one of the local shelters serving Thanksgiving dinner one year and her observation was that the people there were not at all thankful for receiving the food.

I have heard the similar stories from others who have tried to work with some inner city kids.  They were not thankful for the help that they got, but were upset by the “fact” that the government would “give” more to those who were helping them.

I’m not only picking on the poor, but I see this attitude all around me.  Kids (not my own, hopefully mine knows better) who get upset because I was not sharing my snacks or buying them things that I was getting for myself or my kids.  Instead of being thankful for the snacks and other stuff that they have gotten, they complain about being unfairly treated when they did not receive the benefits always.  Adults are not exempt from this problem.  The most often thing that I’ve seen is over food.  People volunteer their time to cook meals for events.  Often, instead of receiving thanks, they hear criticism of what was not done right.

What kind of society have we become.  Perhaps, part of my gripe begins with my grandmother who was always thankful for everything.  She had lived through hard times in her life, but always had a good perspective on life.  She had witnessed hardship and suffering through war and the inhumane treatment of the poor in the Asian society.  Instead of becoming jaded, she gave to those around her.  She saw the positive sides of things and was always grateful to those around her.  God had filled her heart and she learned the mystery of giving thanks in everything and by giving thanks, she was full of joy.

We have an epidemic of depressed ungrateful population even though we are surrounded by a wealth of blessings.  Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, how about count what you do have in your life and be thankful for every little thing.  Guess I better start my reflections and get ready to smile…

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