Once again my contrary nature has me bucking the tide. I’m sure there will be a million heartfelt, sincere, syrupy blogs and essays about things we should be thankful for. May blessings fall on all the authors — and everyone else, too, of course. (I’m sure there are too many commas in that sentence, but I’ve accepted the fact that my prose is where lost commas come to roost.)
Anyway, poking around in my store of quotes I came across this:
If you can’t be satisfied with what you have received, be thankful for what you have escaped.
I don’t know who said it — but I love it! Not the part about not being satisfied, the part about being thankful about what you escaped.
I’m thankful that I’m not homeless. For a brief period we were between houses. We stayed in a tent camper until the weather turned cold and then we stayed with family. They were gracious, but we were all grateful when the situation ended. It must be horrible to have to be someone’s permanent houseguest — worse yet not to have someone who’s willing to take you in. That’s one situation I escaped. Here’s another: addiction. Drugs simply weren’t around when and where I was a kid, so I never had to deal with that temptation; I’ve seen enough drunks to know drinking doesn’t improve any situation; and when I tried smoking my friends laughed at me. So, I escaped those problems, too. I’m thankful to be retired. Okay, I’m only partly retired because writing is the monkey on my back, but I’ve been in deadline situations and I’m glad to say I’ve escaped those too.
This kind of thinking is a kind of “if not for the grace of God” but it’s a neat way to look at life once in a while, kind of like viewing one of those black and white pictures where you look at the black part and see one thing, then look at the white and see something different. In this case, it’s not an optical illusion. It’s a mental illusion that creates a new perspective. Good grief — it even gives you things to be thankful for.