What Aren’t You Thankful For?By
Two days before another Holiday Season warms its way across the hearts and minds of our MpoweredParent community, I pose to you a question.
“What aren’t you thankful for?”
It’s a question that we don’t ask often enough. It’s not likely to be raised at the dinner table, spoken at the church service or discussed in the local paper during this time of year. But it is perhaps a much more meaningful question than that which asks us to consider our blessings.
When we consider the gifts of our lives, “What are we thankful for?”, we are challenging ourselves to embrace the greater meaning of our existence. We set aside our frivolous daily distractions, and tune-in to the real substance of our life. Family, friends, health and opportunity, typically come to mind, as we pause to recognize the things in our world that we could not do without.
“For those who will make a difference in this world, there is no more powerful, positive and inspiring inquiry…” – Author’s Note
But what about the things that we have become accustomed to doing without, even though we shouldn’t? I’m not talking materialistically. I’m referencing the manner and extent to which our lives have embodied our values. Are we accomplishing our goals, fulfilling our responsibilities, reaching our potential? Do we have healthy relationships? Have we taken charge of our future?
“What aren’t you thankful for?” At first glance, this question seems negative or even accusatory. That’s probably why we don’t ask it. But I encourage you to view it differently, because to those who will make a difference in this world, there is no more powerful, positive and inspiring inquiry than that which I propose.
In acknowledging the issues that deserve more of our attention, we tune-in to the aspects of our lives that have gone unreconciled. These are the places we haven’t gone, the heights we haven’t reached, the accomplishments we haven’t made and the impression our presence has failed to leave. You can apply these concepts to many areas of your life. My concern is with you as person, and the extent to which you have achieved happiness; both for yourself and for those fortunate enough to be around you.
Are you a powerful person? The purest form of power is found in enrichment; the manner in which we contribute to our families, our organizations, our activities (big and small), and all areas over which our involvement stands to have impact. Powerful people recognize their role, and inhabit it in all ways. The future is tomorrow, and the quality of tomorrow is contingent upon today’s investment. There’s no room for distraction or dilution of this responsibility, but that’s exactly what our daily routine does to us -if we let it.
Consumed by the daily marathon, oppressed by the common malaise, many of our goals are forfeit to apathy and indecisiveness. We feel unmotivated, uncommitted, maybe even uncontrolled. But it’s an illusion. In actuality, ambivalence is just the last vestige of the unchallenged. We can get tired. We can be busy. At times we can become disillusioned, but we can never allow ourselves to become detached from the challenges that push us to be better people.
So here’s my challenge. At this poignant time, ask yourself, and those around you, “What aren’t you thankful for?” Confront what disappoints you (or them), and secure a commitment to changing it. Honor that for which you are blessed, by pursuing that which has eluded you. Above all, we should be thankful for the opportunity to achieve, amend, construct or capture whatever aspect of our lives has left us wanting. So as you pay tribute to the wonderful blessings of the life that surrounds you, devote the same respect towards the unaccomplished. Don’t mourn it, my friends, challenge it.