In these months of constantly present hidden threat, optimism tends to wane, along with thankfulness. Reflecting on our state reminded me of an earlier time, when Americans were left without jobs and without income. This story is about that time for my family and what we learned.
Haves and Have Nots
“Be thankful for what you have, not for what you don’t have.” I first heard that mantra back in the 70’s. Be thankful for what you have, not for what you don’t have.
At the time, we were living in our first house. It was a nice three-bedroom split level in a residential development. But somehow after a few years, the house seemed small. We needed more garage space, more bedrooms. I wanted bigger, better.
Then the recession hit. Security became very wobbly. The things I had assumed I deserved and would always be mine were being challenged. I might not have a job. My husband might not. Oh boy, how I wish I had those hundreds of dollars we spent on last year’s vacation.
Suddenly I looked around my beautiful, perfect, plentiful home and said, “Please God – Just let us keep up the payments. Let us keep this roof over the heads of our children.”
Well, we did survive. The whole country did. Things turned around and we did eventually move on. But I never forgot the lesson I learned then. It may help you too.
Be thankful for what you have, not for what you don’t have.
While sheltering in place during the pandemic, we have been thankful for thoughtful outreach, small and large. A team of walkers have a favorite route through our community. We sometimes glimpse them at wave distance. One day as they jogged through, they left candy and hand-written notes of blessing on porches. Gestures like that, especially from strangers, really make a difference. They remind us of the joy, friendship and kindness waiting on the other side.