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Thankful people are happy people

Though he lost his home in 2010 Haiti Earthquake, this man smiles back at me as he tells his story and all that he has to be thankful for.

Have you ever met those people who seemingly have it all. The great career, the sweet ride, the family with 2.5 kids… and some of these people seem a bit unhappy? In stark contrast you may have met people with… well nothing… literally. I’ve met many of these people in my travels through Asia, Africa, and Latin America with Food for the Hungry (FH). And some of those people seem rather happy. This just makes no sense in my middle America mind. I refuse to believe that having nothing and wondering where your next meal will come from is the source of happiness. So it must be something else.

It is not happy people who are thankful.

It is thankful people who are happy. 

Thankfulness is the source of happiness? Okay, I’ll go with that. Now thats a good challenge. We all know we take a lot for granted. For different people it will be different things. While I treasure my daily cup of coffee, I’ve never thought to be happy for the water it takes to make it. I’m thankful for abundant access to water. Imagine how happy we would be if we suddenly viewed all that is our lives as gifts to be grateful for.

There is a great group out of Portland, Oregon called Beautiful Eulogy that packs amazing lessons into their lyrics. I’m particularly fond of this one… “Even the air we breath is a gift we receive that we think we’re entitled to.” uhm… guilty.

Loads of people are making a conscious effort to be thankful during the month of November. #30daysofthanks is flooding my facebook feed. How can we channel this thankfulness into the rest of the year? How can we practice appreciating life … daily?

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” -Oprah Winfrey

What’s your thankfulness challenge?