Time to be a little thankful

By Stephen Springer - Spring into thought

Before I shovel a mildly concerning amount of apple pie in my mouth tomorrow in celebration of Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate to acknowledge some of the things for which I'm thankful.

Every year around this time, it seems inevitable to be asked about thankfulness.

I always have a hard time thinking of an answer to this seemingly easy question, not because I have nothing to be thankful for, but because I consistently take things for granted.

And I know I'm not the only one.

Life is fickle. At any point, for any number of reasons, the things we take for granted could be gone in an instant.

A lot of the time, I find myself thinking that could never happen to me. I won't lose everything.

Though I'm not a gambler, I would bet that anyone who has been in the position to lose it all has thought the same thing: Nah, never gonna happen.

So, this year I am making a concerted effort to keep my gratitude from falling by the wayside.

While half of Puerto Ricans still have no power, Syrian refugees can't live in their own country and North Koreans embody the term Stockholm Syndrome, I grumble about having to wake up at 7 a.m. to drive to school, the amount of time I stare at a word processor and having to fold laundry.

While I will forever hold onto my cynical way of thinking, I find it more and more important to be thankful for everything I have in my life.

It is important to realize contentment will not come to us in the dark of night but only when we actively seek it.

For instance, I could complain about having to get up and go to school, or I can take a second to appreciate the things and people in my life that allowed me the opportunity to go to school in the first place.

This is how I use my cynicism for me rather than against me.

Even though I am closer to the poverty line than middle class, even though I can't afford the housing market and even though I can't afford to use my health insurance, my quality of life is still better than the majority of people living on this planet.

At the end of the day, the key to being thankful is a little perspective.

Stephen Springer is opinion editor of the Thunderword.

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