I’m a big fan of the movie White Christmas starring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kay and Vera Ellen. Bing sings a song call “Count Your Blessings”. In the interest of full disclosure, this isn’t something that I do well or often but I think I’m getting better at it.
I’m viewed by some members of my family as a pessimist. I prefer to think of myself as a realist. (Semantics can be fun sometimes.) On the opposite end of the scale, I have a brother who is a true optimist. My other brother could be referred to as the well balanced one as he sees things probably as they should be seen depending on the circumstances.
Two brothers, one a pessimist/realist and one an optimist brings to mind a tale of twin brothers. One was an incurable optimist and the other was an incurable pessimist. One Christmas their parents decided to see if they could change the perspective of each boy to see the opposite of what they were. For the pessimist, the parents filled one room with all the best toys they could find. They filled another room with horse manure for the optimist.
Christmas morning arrived and they went to the door of the room full of toys. They could hear crying coming from the room. They walked in and asked why he was crying. He had a room full of wonderful toys. His response was, “With all these wonderful toys, I’m sure to break one!”
They went to the room filled with horse manure to hear giggles and laughter coming from it. They went in and saw the optimist happily digging through the manure. They asked him how he could be happy with a room full of horse manure. His response was, “With this much horse manure, there has to be a pony here someplace!”
Here we have two people with vastly different perspectives. These perspectives can determine whether or not we feel we’re blessed or not. I think we sometimes forget how much most of us have to be thankful for. I certainly do.
I’m not a big advocate of keeping a Gratitude Journal. I’m sorry but there are some days when a person just doesn’t feel grateful. If you have to put in your journal that you are glad you made it through a really bad day, that doesn’t really cut it for me. That’s just called life.
While not a great fan of hers, Oprah has done a good job of getting some people to be more positive about their lives and if there are some good outcomes that’s also a good thing.
So let’s get back to counting our blessings. Let’s take a moment each day and look at what we have, where we’ve been, what we’ve accomplished, or whatever has a feeling of a blessing to us.
In my opinion it doesn’t have to be in the here and now. Why can’t I be thankful/blessed that I’ve seen so much of the ancient world. These are memories that I’ll always have and are far more enduring than feeling blessed for having found a good parking spot today. I want my blessings to be good long term remembrances. I know I’m also thankful for the here and now in that I have a great family, both blood related and related by marriage, I’ve got great friends and I’m in good health.
As I said previously, I’m getting better at counting my blessings but I’m still a work in progress on that point.
So to my brother K, keep looking for that pony and to my brother H, thanks for keeping the balance. Me, I’ll try and do a little of both.