Michelle Mann

In everything, give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Some people think, “turkey.” Some people think, “football.” Some people think, “the official start of the Christmas season.”

But as we rush from Halloween into Thanksgiving into the Christmas season, we often need a reminder to stop and take the time to see the blessings in every situation—because they are there.

People use the phrase “attitude of gratitude” for a reason. There is power in the phrase “thank you” and that is because it makes us take our mind off of our own selves and instead focus on others.

A little more than a decade ago, television journalist Deborah Norville wrote a best selling book called “Thank You Power.”

The book is, in short, the result of two years of Norville’s research into the power of positivity and the reality of life blessings received by taking the time to give thanks.

There’s power in the phrase “thank you.” Especially when we say thank you—again and again.

We have the great fortune to know a grand Southern lady of the old school who understands that concept completely. She is of the “thank you note” generation. People who love her kid that she will write you a thank you note to thank you for writing her a thank you note. What a legacy in the beauty of a positive attitude she imparts just by entering a room.

A truth I have learned over the years is that the more we focus on good things, the better things will come to us. That is more than a platitude.

With an attitude of gratitude, we project a more positive energy—which in turn magnifies positivity to those around us.

It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy. I’m not sure who coined that phrase but it surfaces often during these last few months of each year.

We all know people who have a tendency to think that things are better for other people, who cannot appreciate all the blessings they have around them.

The blessing for the rest of us in that is that it is a reminder of what we should strive not to be like.

As we enter this season of giving thanks may I share a poem, by an author unknown?

“Count your blessings instead of your crosses; count your gains instead of your losses; count your joys instead of your woes; count your friends instead of your foes; count your smiles instead of your tears; count your courage instead of your fears; count your full years instead of your lean; count your kind deeds instead of your mean; count your health instead of your wealth; count on God instead of yourself.”

Thanksgiving Day is now a national holiday commemorating a harvest festival first celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. Let’s remember to focus on the “thanks” part of the holiday’s name.

Appreciate the small things in life. “When you are smiling, the whole world smiles with you,” is the way the late great trumpeter, composer and singer Louis Armstrong sang the philosophy.

“How can we thank God enough?” is the rhetorical question in 1 Thessalonians 3:9. Indeed.

Don’t worry whether the glass is half empty or half full. Be thankful you have a glass.

Michelle Mann is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are her own and not the opinion of the paper. She can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at mmann@southeastsun.com.

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