Being Thankful, Glass Half Empty or Half Full

Being Thankful, Glass Half Empty or Half Full

by Doyle Ranstrom on Nov 23, 2022

One of my lifetime quotes is "I was sad I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet".  It seems trivial, but to me it has a lot of meaning.

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful.  We all know this, but for many, maybe most, the Day will day be spent eating and watching football.  Nothing wrong with this, I excel at both.  But I would suggest it is important all of us spend part of the day being thankful.

I know this can be hard at times.  

We live in a society that often looks at the glass being empty or full.  The reality is in most cases, its half empty and half full.  Of course we can make it full by pouring the contents in a smaller glass, or almost empty if we pour the contents into a much larger glass.  Perspective, right?

Most of us have stuff in our lives that at times makes the glass look almost empty.  I do, most likely you do too.  Stuff includes personal issues, family matters, income challenges, social and global concerns.  Other times the glass looks almost full and we appreciate life's blessings.  The total amount in the container does not change, but how we perceive it does.  

This Thanksgiving I am going to spend part of the Day just being thankful.  Some of the things I will be thankful are as follows:

  • Family and friends, especially my grandchildren.  Due to a long-term ongoing health issue, I never thought I would live long enough to watch my grandchildren grow up. For this, I am very thankful.
    • Regarding friends, you would have to ask them if they are thankful for me.  I can be an acquired taste and I suspect some are still years away from acquiring this taste.  Do not blame them a bit, I get it.  
  • Riding my bike.  Due to health issues I had to miss some time on my bike this year.  After putting on between 35,000 to 40,000 on my various bikes over the past twenty years, not being able to go for multiple rides every week was very difficult.   Being able to ride again is a blessing for which I am very thankful.  Maybe right now I cannot ride as long and fast as I am used to, but I am thankful to be able to ride and the rest will work it self out.  
  • I am thankful many Trump supporting candidates running for major offices were defeated specifically in AZ and in many parts of the country.  It is sign that more and more citizens are recognizing the dangers of Trumpism is to our democracy and economy.
  • Science, technology, AI/Automation.  We have major climate change challenges throughout the US and our world.  Natural disasters and water shortages along with food shortages are some of the results of climate change.  But we also have the scientific knowledge, research and technology to address many of these challenges.  
    • [If you do not believe this, start listening to Ted Talks which address climate change.  They do not sugar coat the problems we face, but most of have real solutions.] 

As some know, I have been dealing with a significant health issue for almost 24 years.  Sometimes I am fine, other times, it is not fun.  It is easy to have "woe is me or self-pity parties", which I have done, but I strive to be thankful.  Thankful for all the things I have been able to accomplish professionally, do and enjoy personally, and most important, spend time with my grandchildren during this total time period.  The reality is the glass was never full or empty but some of each.  Being thankful is the choice I choose to make.  

Most if not all of us have our stuff and it can be very difficult to be thankful at times.  But is important we do so.  So on Thanksgiving take a moment or several moments to simply be thankful for all the blessings now and in the past in your life.  If I can do this, and you can do this, our glasses will really be full. If we do it every day thereafter, the glass gets fuller.  

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