Once upon a time, some American tourists went to Mexico on a vacation; they toured some hot springs, where they saw the natives washing their clothes! One tourist said to his guide, “My, isn’t it wonderful how Mother Nature provides her children with hot water to wash their clothes?” The tour-guide replied, “So you might think, Senor, but the natives complain that Mother Nature doesn’t provide the soap!”
It’s been said that the hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. Chinese wisdom teaches, “When you drink from the stream remember the spring.” Research has shown that people who regularly practiced grateful thinking were more than 25 percent happier, slept better, suffered lower levels of stress and even spent more time exercising. People sure like to complain. According to one recent author, who wrote a book on Gratefulness, Prof. Richard Emmons explains that” Preliminary findings suggest that those who regularly practice grateful thinking do reap emotional, physical, and interpersonal benefits. […] Grateful people experience higher levels of positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, love, happiness, and optimism […] The practice of gratitude as a discipline protects a person from the destructive impulses of envy, resentment, greed, and bitterness.” Politicians, especially, love to create class-warfare between the haves and the have-nots, as if creaturely comforts would ever dictate our inner and spiritual state of mind.
In Yiddish, we have a word for such a mindset; it’s called “Kvetching,” or chronic complaining. It’s as old as the Bible itself. It seems that many folks, for whatever the reason may be, have an innate bias towards being or feeling negative. In other words, for some of us, being a grouch comes naturally. Therapists and psychologists alike tend to focus on the ethos of victimization, and narcissism rather than engendering a life-attitude of thankfulness. Continue reading “A Thanksgiving Meditation”