A few days ago I sent out a LinkedIn poll question asking people what they were most grateful for. I received some interesting answers. One claimed gratitude for everything from their 2 cars in the garage to always having a fresh roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. Really? I’m hoping that the t.p. remark was said in humor because if it weren’t that would be downright sad.

Then there were the handful that as the reader I could feel their gratitude for everything from learning to walk all over again after an accident to a father being grateful that his son had beat death. I have sons and that one left me asking myself, “What would I do, how would I act if something happened to my boys?”

One kept resonating within me. The responder was just grateful to be alive for the past five years after a life threatening bout with cancer.

Gratitude is just the opposite of having a bad attitude about what you didn’t get versus being happy with what you do have.

I’m grateful to be a good father
I’m grateful to have a good relationship with their Mother
I’m grateful for my health. I look around and see people who are my age who aren’t doing well.
I’m grateful that I can give something back to my community by being involved with the Wounded Warrior Project & we’re also starting another Foundation for Children of which I’ve been asked to be on the Board of Directors.
I’m grateful to the Marines at Camp Pendleton who have made an impact on my life and I theirs.
I’m grateful that I have friends in this world that I can talk to and they can talk to me about what’s going on in their lives.
I’m grateful that I quit drinking 23 years ago. The best part of not drinking is that I’m present for my life, good or bad.
I’m grateful that I can have compassion for others.

I guess I could have a bad attitude about not having a job, but that would prevent me from trying to find gainful employment to take even better care of my sons.
I could use a new car, but mine is just fine. I bought my SUV the day after my first son was born because I didn’t want my son driving around in a small sports car.
There’s lots of things I would like to have but their just wants and not needs.

The bottom line is we’ve all got one shot here on this good Earth (I think) and we should make the best of it. Enjoy the ride because most of the time it’s an “E” Ticket Ride and remember that when things get tough you’re never going to get more than you can handle and I know that to be true.

I love this quote from William Arthur Ward, author of Fountains of Faith
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

Enjoy the rest of the holidays, spend time with those that you care the most about and share your gratitude with those who need it.

Happy Holidays