Being Truly Thankful

In two weeks we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day here in America. This gives us two weeks to start thinking about all of the things we are thankful for no matter whether we have a little or a lot. It’s not just about material possessions (Christmas sort of takes over in that way), but a time to think about–no matter what our circumstances might be at this present moment–what matters most and what we are genuinely thankful for in our lives.

To get us started, here is a very short story I just found on Dr. Joseph Mercola‘s Facebook page posted back in 2010:

A Wonderful Thanksgiving Story

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet.  He held up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help.” 

There were only a few coins in the hat.

A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat.  He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy.  That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. 

The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning?  What did you write?”

The man said, “I only wrote the truth.  I said what you said but in a different way.” I wrote: “Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it.”

Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people that they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

Moral of the Story: Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile. Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear. Keep the faith and drop the fear.

The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling. And even more beautiful, is knowing that you are the reason behind it!

Happy Thanksgiving to all! (Quote source here.)

This same story was reprinted on a marketing website by Becca Fieler, a Marketing Manager at Thomson Reuters, at Thanksgiving in 2016 at this link, and a YouTube video was posted with it (that video is posted at the end of this blog post). In her version the person who changed the sign was a woman instead of a man. She introduced the story on her post as follows:

I stumbled across this wonderful Thanksgiving story earlier this week and felt compelled to share it. I don’t know who wrote it, but it moved me.

It vaguely reminded me of what we all strive to achieve from a Thanksgiving marketing campaign, but more importantly, who we strive to be as human beings. Spin changes how we feel about products and people, but sincerity, kindness and generosity will always shine the brightest. As Ellen DeGeneres says at the close of each show,

“Be kind to one another.”

Whenever you’re having a particularly bad day, count all of the reasons you have to be thankful and let your gratitude speak louder than your grief. Enjoy this tale and take its 10 morals to heart. (Quote source here.)

Here are the 10 morals that she posted after the story:

The moral of this story is tenfold:

  1. Be thankful and grateful for what you have
  2. Be creative and innovative
  3. Look at things from new and different perspectives
  4. Share your knowledge and experience
  5. Face your past without regret
  6. Handle the present with confidence
  7. Prepare for the future without fear
  8. Keep the faith and have hope
  9. Stay positive in the face of adversity
  10. Persevere – never give up

Make someone smile today. Today is beautiful.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! (Quote source here.)

I found another great story posted at Thanksgiving 2014 and updated in 2016 on Huffington Post by Austin Schneider, an Account Manager at Emergenetics International. His story is titled:

Being Grateful for What You Have

Thanksgiving is such a great time of the year. In the United States, we are fortunate to have a holiday where we kick back for a couple of days and really focus on being grateful for what we have in our lives.

During this time just two years ago, I was living in Italy and I remember what a bizarre feeling it was to not be surrounded by the holiday as we are in the US. It was a case of “not knowing what you had until it was gone.” It was also the first time I had spent Thanksgiving outside of the US. For myself and some of the other American people I was with, we were very intentional about recreating the Thanksgiving experience because we greatly missed having it all around us.

During this time, I realized being grateful for things should not be limited to one Thursday per year. It is something we should focus on every single day because at the very least, it will make you a happier person…just ask Harvard Medical School. It is not always easy for us to think this way, given anxieties Millennials in particular face from the constant exposure to theperfectlives your friends lead on Instagram.

I have a story that highlighted this point of gratefulness very well. I was fortunate enough to have a great friend and personal mentor of mine drop in to visit me in New York last week. He had been called on for an important presentation at work in the city, and we were able to enjoy an early morning coffee atJoe Coffeeon Waverly Place. We were talking about the progress of careers and how people start at different places and go different directions. He then caught me comparing myself to some of my friends around the world. He cut me off very quickly and guided me . . .

“Let me tell you something Teddy Roosevelt once said. ‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’Don’t focus on what you don’t have and don’t focus on what your friends do have.”

He continued his wisdom. “Focus instead on where you are, what you do well and who you are in this very moment. Be thankful for that.”

It was a perfect thing for me to hear as a reminder, and I wanted to share it for your thoughts. Being thankful every day for the things I have has allowed me to focus on what I bring to the world to create a positive impact.

I now give you ten things to say thank you for, today and every day.

  1. Your family
  2. Your friends
  3. Clean water
  4. Food
  5. Clothes
  6. Connecting with others
  7. Music
  8. Movies
  9. Books
  10. Yourself and your strengths

Remember, there are millions of people who would love to do what you do every day.

Happy Thanksgiving! (Quote source here).

I’ll end this blog post with one last item–a Thankgiving prayer originally posted on at Thanksgiving 2012 (and reposted in 2016) by Cindi McMenamin, an author and national speaker (see her website at

Thanksgiving Prayer

Thank you, God, for this food we are about to eat. And thank You for Your many blessings on us this past year . . . the ones we’ve seen, as well as the ones we haven’t seen. 

Thank you, God, for the times You have said “no.” They have helped us depend on You so much more.

Thank you, God, for unanswered prayer. It reminds us that You know what’s best for us, even when our opinion differs. 

Thank You, God, for the things you have withheld. You have protected us from what we may never realize. 

Thank You, God, for the doors You have closed. They have prevented us from going where You would rather not have us go. 

Thank you, Lord, for the physical pain You’ve allowed in our lives. It has helped us more closely relate to Your sufferings on our behalf. 

Thank you, Lord, for the alone times in our lives. Those times have forced us to lean in closer to You. 

Thank you, God, for the uncertainties we’ve experienced. They have deepened our trust in You. 

Thank You, Lord,  for the times You came through for us when we didn’t even know we needed a rescue.

Thank You, Lord, for the losses we have experienced. They have been a reminder that You are our greatest gain. 

Thank You, God, for the tears we have shed. They have kept our hearts soft and moldable.  

Thank You, God, for the times we haven’t been able to control our circumstances. They have reminded us that You are sovereign and on the throne. 

Thank You, God, for Your ability to take what we consider ‘tragedy’ and turn it into a treasure.

Thank You, God, for those You have called home to be with You. Their absence from this earth reminds us to keep our eyes fixed on heaven.  

Thank You, God, that we have an inheritance in the heavenly places . . . something that this world can never steal from us and we could never selfishly squander. 

Thank You, God, for the greatest gift You could ever give us: forgiveness through Your perfect Son’s death on the cross on our behalf. 

Thank you, God, for the righteousness You credited toward us, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s a righteousness we could never attain to on our own. 

And thank You not only for our eternal salvation, but for the salvation You afford us every day of our lives as You save us from ourselves, our foolishness, our own limited insights, and our frailties in light of Your power and strength. 

Thank You, God, for all that You have allowed and not allowed in our lives this past year. For we commit our lives anew to You this day and ask that You would continue to remind us, throughout this next year, that You are God, You are on the throne, and You are eternally good. 

Thank You, finally, that we can pray in the name of Jesus, who made our access to You—and a personal relationship with You—possible. Amen. 

We hope this thanksgiving prayer can bring joy and gladness to your family this holiday. Use this prayer all year round to continue to renew your mind and focus on God’s goodness. (Quote source here.)

May we each take some time over the next two weeks before Thanksgiving arrives to be compassionate to those who cross our paths, and to be thankful for all that we have and that we have been given, whether it is a little or a lot. After all, it’s not about quantity, it’s about something that is far greater than that.

I’ll end this post with the words from Ephesians 4:32: And be kind to one another, tenderhearted . . .

Forgiving one another . . .

Even as God in Christ . . .

Forgave you . . . .

YouTube Video (from the story at the beginning of this post): The Power of Words:

YouTube Video: “Speak Life” by TobyMac:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here

One comment

Comments are closed.