With Thanksgiving upon us, I am again aware of one of my favorite parts of being a personal historian: the opportunity to help people recall their life blessings and give thanks.
Study after study points to the benefits of gratitude. Here is a sampling if you’re interested:
- A serving of gratitude may save the day
- Giving thanks can make you happier
- Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration
While life is undeniably hard at times, our willingness to remember victories and appreciate kindnesses makes all the difference in how we frame our life story. Michael J. Fox, stricken with Parkinson’s Disease at age 29, titled his autobiography, “Lucky Man.” Elie Weisel, Holocaust survivor, stated, “For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.”
This Thanksgiving, in addition to giving thanks for the goodness in your life today, try to recall the gifts you’ve received from yesteryear. The wonders you’ve seen, the people who have touched your heart.
And if the impulse moves you, share your gratitude with those you love. At dinner over turkey or, in greater detail, through the writing of your life story. Your thanks, I have no doubt, will be treasured.
Best wishes for a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!