An investment in gratitude pays valuable dividends, especially when times are tough.
1. The freedom to be divisive. Sure, we all like to complain about all the yapping people we donít agree with, whatever side they are on. But we live in a country where all that yapping is legal. We could live in a place where yapping leads to death or disappearance. We donít. We should all be thankful for that.
2. Indoor plumbing. I read an article somewhere about how brides in India are demanding toilets in exchange for marriage. Billions of people around the world donít have indoor plumbing. Not only is it unsanitary, itís also dangerous.
3. Mostly clean water. Sure, we are mucking it up with toxins and pharmaceuticals, but if we are thirsty, we can pretty much find a cool drink of water anywhereóeven if we have to pay for it. It doesnít make us sick. It doesnít kill our children with waterborne illnesses that lead to death.
4. Public education. Go ahead, complain all you want about how bad it is. But at least we have it. Itís not as good as in many other countries, but at least itís there, and all kids are expected to go to school and get educatedógirls as well as boys.
5. Coffee. Itís legal. There are no major health problems associated with it. It makes the world go around. Ok, it makes my world go around. Iím thankful for that.
6. Music. Think about the world 100 years ago. The only music people could listen to had to be performed live. Isnít that so weird? We have just come to expect that we can listen to anything, anytime, and anywhere. And we can. That would have been unfathomable to people in previous centuries.
7. Books and magazines. I know, I know, Iím in the business (which makes me even more thankful). But again, from the comfort of our beds and couches we can travel back in time, forward in time, to any place in the world and into worlds that donít even exist except in a writerís mind. The other night my daughter said: ďI wish I could go online and buy a book and have it five minutes later.Ē And I said, ďYou can. Itís called a Kindle.Ē Of course, we couldnít get it to work (closeÖso close!). But itís the thought that counts. Itís possible in the real world.
8. The Internet. How did we find things before the Internet? Whether itís the location of a restaurant or an old friend you havenít seen since high schoolówe can now find almost anything instantly.
9. Sex. You can all disagree about the details and parameters, but the fact remains that itís not only good for your health, but it feels good too. Whoever invented it deserves our thanks.
10. Love. Take away everything else and the only thing that really matters is love. But all the other things make love more pleasurable. Can you imagine the horror of watching your child, whom you love so much, die from a disease that was preventable just by having clean water to drink? Life is painful and miserable and often filled with horrific tragedy. But love is really the only cure. We are very lucky here in America to have many barriers to love removedówe can marry for love and have indoor plumbing.
Donít forget it.