it's the lack of attention-grabbing that is the most
important to us. How many times have we read the
stories of the kids who were no problem to their parents,
how they felt neglected and lonely because the parents
were always focused on the kids who were always in trouble
and neglected the kids who caused no trouble. In a
case like that, we should be incredibly grateful to the
child who is well behaved, yet the truth is that we do,
indeed, take him or her for granted.
There are many things that don't grab our attention.
The toilet that doesn't back up, the car that doesn't need
servicing, the television that lasts for years and years,
the friends who never borrow money or make us feel
uncomfortable, the co-worker who is reliable and
dependable and who always has everything done--all of
these things and people are deserving of our greatest
gratitude, for they help our lives to move on smoothly
without terrible bumps or bruises. Yet we tend to
keep our minds focused on the problems, and we forget to
be thankful for the things that are going well.
There are also events that are like that--the birthday
party that flows smoothly, the trip to the baseball game,
the class we attend that goes off without a hitch each
week, the meeting or the meal that flows smoothly and is
enjoyable--we don't keep our minds on these things because
they don't call our attention like the party that has
problems or the trip to the ball game that involves the
car breaking down or the meal that's ruined because the
bread gets burned and there's too much salt in the soup.
One of the most important skills that we can develop in
life is that of making gratitude an active part of who we
are. When we can recognize the things that really do
deserve our thankfulness, then we can actually recognize
just how well we do have things, and just how blessed our
lives truly are.