I call thankfulness an art because it certainly is not a natural characteristic of a human being.
No one is born into this world thankful — no one! No, not even that precious little bundle of joy you carry home from the hospital. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true.
From the moment he/she enters into this world, their most notable natural characteristic is to be totally self-centered, absorbed in themselves and demanding to be served.
In fact, within those first few moments of life, they have the uncanny ability to teach you how to become their 24/7 servant because nothing and no one is more important than they are and their needs are many times more important than anyone else’s. And if you don’t respond immediately to them, you will hear about it loud and clear.
This goes on for quite some time. The sad fact is that some people never grow out of it and will always be demanding their own way, some even becoming an abusive parent or spouse years later because of this natural inclination toward selfishness.
Each child has to be taught to say “please” and “thank you” over and over again until they remember and hopefully learn as a matter of good manners. At a young age, of course, this is not a heart issue, but simply a necessary obedient act to receive praise and acceptance from others and hopefully develop the characteristic of politeness.
However, as we mature, hopefully we begin to see more and more that we have so much to be thankful for. Life and breath for a start, families, friends, creation itself. The list goes on and on if you just take a moment to think about it. If you just open your mind, heart and eyes and begin to give thanks for it all, an amazing thing happens. The more you practice thankfulness, the more you become aware of all we have to be thankful for.
The other option is to continue in ungratefulness and be a miserable, self-absorbed person. Just look around and see the hateful, resentful, divisive, unhappy people walking around. You can see it on their faces and they can see it on yours.
Why don’t you give thankfulness a try? What do you have to lose?