The other day I read an article about how being thankful actually changes the way your brain works, and the emotion of gratitude is closely correlated with happiness. There are in fact, measurable health benefits if you live with an attitude of gratitude. Here’s a link to just one of many articles. http://ccn.aacnjournals.org/content/29/6/12.short It’s interesting that Judaeo-Christian tradition confirms the central importance of gratitude to psychosocial, physical and spiritual health – see Psalm 107:1, Romans 1:21 and I Thessalonians 5:18.
Of course, all this begs a question, what if my life is marked by hardship and sorrow, how can I be thankful? It seems to me that children living with disabilities in low resourced countries have a right to be discouraged and perhaps even angry with God. Often their families are ashamed of them believing them to either be a curse or to be cursed. There is often very little medical help for their problems. If they have nothing to help them get around, they rely on someone to pick them up and move them if they need to be moved. Frequently, they are left alone on the floor of their dwelling place and many die young due to infection from ulcers.
So, it came as a surprise to me when I visited Kenya earlier this year and heard the laughter and the joy being expressed by children at a school for children with disabilities. Most of them had large grins on their faces and apparently joy in their hearts. They were a lesson to me on the importance and the joy that comes from living thankfully in all circumstances.
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Thank you very much for reading this. We’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on thankfulness.