Epiphany: The price … of being thankful.

In honor of Thanksgiving this week, I figured I would post something relative to the next big holiday. So here we go.

You may be wondering what the purpose of this post is and why it is titled as such. Well, I do in fact believe there is a price for being thankful. It’s not a price that can be measured in dollars or any physical amount, but rather, it’s something more intangible. For starters, our culture is based on the concept of more. More stuff. More housing. More clothes. More money. More everything.

And those who after the more, want it now. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but now. This is not a shock to many who would read this so before you walk away thinking “oh, here’s another post on the downside of society”, I have something else to say. And that something pertains to what this post is about. We struggle with getting more for our lives but we struggle even more (perhaps unconsciously) with being content and thankful for what we have in our immediate situation. That’s a really tough thing to do in our world. Think about it. How many times have you compared your life situation to the person living next door? Or to a coworker? To a friend? Maybe even a brother or sister? It’s easy to do and we do it without even thinking.

The real challenge lies in not doing that comparison. To not desire the items of our friends, relatives, neighbors, but to relish in what we have already. So what’s the price associated with this madness for being thankful consistently? Well, it’s a general feeling of exile. Not too many people are really thankful for their circumstance and if they are, you could probably point them out. They’re obnoxiously positive; they’re annoyingly polite, they may even be uncomfortably comforting to you. Whatever their supposed vice may be, that behavior digs at you like a blunt knife and you leave that person wondering just what their deal was.

Don’t they see their situation? Don’t they understand how miserable their life must be? They can hardly find the money to pay their rent or buy a decent meal so what gives? People who have this abundance within their lives tend to shine like a ray of sun peeking through your window in the early morning. The light is so bright that you’re forced to squint from the mere sight of it. Naturally, this is an inherent reflex. You’ve been sleeping a long while so you’re aren’t necessarily ready to be roused from your slumber (which makes sense because nobody likes to be stirred that early in the morning and consistent sunlight will, in fact, blind you), but wouldn’t it be nice to bask in that sun all the time? To just feel some unexpected warmth and not be so oppositional about it? A nice thought, but it will only remain a thought if don’t keep their eyes open to the concept.

So what am I saying here? To stare blindly into the sun? No, certainly not. That’s just a nice little metaphor to help move this post along and help get to the point. The true price for being a thankful person is this: your peers will think you’re crazy. Crazy for sure, but  if you’re content for what you’ve got, then that isolation really doesn’t matter. And in the long scheme of things, that’s not really all that bad.

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