You may have seen the recent spot on CBS Sunday Morning featuring columnist and commentator AJ Jacobs, author of “Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey.” In it, he shared with viewers his decision to demonstrate to his children the importance of giving thanks by personally thanking the many people that make his morning cup of coffee possible. Now not all of us would or could do this – but Mr. Jacobs actually flew to Costa Rica to meet the coffee bean growers as well as the factory workers where the coffee is ground and packaged. He then flew back to the United States to meet with the distributor of the coffee – and finally back to his hometown to thank the grocery store where he buys his coffee, including the person at the checkout line.
AJ Jacobs with one of the many that make his morning coffee possible. Source: www.cbsnews.com
Mr. Jacobs may have gone a bit over the top when he wondered if he should thank the people who built and paved the streets that the truck uses to deliver the coffee to the grocery store. Or the people who paint the yellow line down the middle of those streets. But we all certainly get the point – having an attitude of gratitude can and should extend deeply into every aspect of our life. For people of faith, God is the source of the most important blessings for which we give thanks – our spouse and children; our extended family and friends; our health and material blessings, etc. But for all of us, being thankful does two very powerful things for us: first, when we become conscious of all that we have, we live with greater joy. And second, when we see how much of what we have is a pure gift (our parents, our siblings, our children, etc.) we are reminded to be humble – and to share with others the blessings we ourselves have received.
I (Matt) may have shared with some of you that some time ago, I began a habit I continue to this day. Early in the morning, even before I begin my morning prayers, I come downstairs and have that first cup of coffee while walking through the first floor of my home looking at all the pictures of my loved ones. It fills my heart with joy and gratitude and is a great way to begin what typically is a very busy day.
We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to spend it with those you love. Perhaps the attitude of gratitude that we see so clearly during the Thanksgiving holiday is one we can carry with us each day of this busy holiday season – and throughout the New Year.
We’re thankful for all of you!