At the auto-mechanic yesterday one of the other customers, an older friendly looking fellow, smiled and raised his cup of coffee to me after hearing my car troubles.
“Well,” he said, “if you didn’t have bad luck you would have no luck at all.”
He smiled and I smiled. That was definitely how the morning was playing out. Actually it was how this winter has been playing out with first black mold and then foundation issues in our basement. It can be difficult to remain positive sometimes. Whether you are experiencing your own personal troubles, money, family or health or looking at the bigger world. There seems to always be so much bad news, from hurricanes to shootings, and from sexual harassment to corruption, and that’s just in our small part of the world.
Yet despite all of this, or perhaps because of it, I find myself turning to gratitude more – more in fact than when things are going well. This is when I choose to remind myself that there is still lots of good in the world. This can and does help both my perspective and my mood, however to be effective I find it helps to keep it real, personal and meaningful. Here’s what I mean.
My own personal BIG worry centres around climate change. There are many trends to be thankful for such as the falling price of solar panels and fracking bans, to beeswax food wraps and a proliferation of vegetarian and vegan options when dining out. Today I have chosen to focus on groups of people rather than specific innovations or trends for whom I am grateful. It is people who have caused the problems associated with climate change and I believe it is people who will be the solution. I am grateful for:
§ Many, many organizations, and all the people who volunteer or work for them that are fighting for action on climate change
§ Lawyers who are using their unique set of skills to battle industries and governments in the court to help protect our environment
§ Artists, musicians, writers who use their talents to reach out to people about the violence and injustice of climate change
§ Scientists who may each only own a small part of an answer but who when working together and building on knowledge foundations are innovating solutions to climate change
§ Native and indigenous peoples who are standing up for the best interest of the environment
§ Governments, whether municipal, state or federal who are enacting legislature to help protect the environment. ( special shout out to the 170 countries that signed the amendment to the Montreal protocol just about a year ago in Kigali to phase out hydroflourocarbons – this is a big deal!)
§ Every person who is trying, in their own small way, to make a difference, by reducing/re-using/recycling, by using alternate modes of transport, by donating to an environmental charity, by planting a tree, by shopping locally or by eating less meat.
Maybe you’re not worried about climate change (maybe you should be?) but whatever it is that worries you I hope that you can find something or someone that fills you with gratitude.