This week, I interviewed a couple that came to Oklahoma three years ago from North Carolina. Before they made the move, they were homeless and addicted to drugs. They wanted a fresh start. And they got one, at The Pershing Center. They lived in transitional housing, learned how to stay sober, and started working. Finally, four months ago, they moved into a duplex in Oklahoma City owned by The Pershing Center, and they pay rent. It's the first time they've ever lived together, in their own home. And you can tell when you meet Mike and Sharon Bottoms, they are extremely grateful for everything they have.
Throughout our visit, Mike and Sharon kept saying they were lucky. They gave us a tour of their home and pointed out the refrigerator, the dishwasher, the couch, their television, the rug in their living room. Sharon was proud of the plates in her kitchen. Mike was appreciative for all his OU gear. They decorated their home nicely. They take care of their yard. They make sure that if they have a cigarette, they go outside. They are truly grateful and it shows.
For the rest of us, we make sure to say our thanks during the holidays. We send thank you cards if we've received a gift. But do we really appreciate that we have a roof over our heard and food in our pantry?
A thought from www.phycologyhelp.com:
One recurring attribute of people who have happiness (or inner peace and contentment) is the attribute of being grateful and appreciative for what is all around them. This is an attribute that all of us could well cultivate, for it changes how we feel. Our upsets tend to melt in the face of gratefulness. This is completely contrary to the current media emphasis on what is wrong. That emphasis is unhappy, so why would I want to limit myself to just the problems? Why not emphasize some good stuff too? Just feeling some of that gratitude and appreciation will be a touch of healing (i.e., self-therapy) for us all.