“Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there is always something we could be grateful for.” Barry Neil Kaufman
This past summer, I was fortunate to travel in the Mediterranean. The history of Greece, Italy, France, and Spain was extraordinary as we visited famous sites from 2500 BC to castles of the sixteen century, and coastal cities alive with world travelers. It was interesting to see how the Old World lives today.
We spoke to many people who said their dream was to live in America. When asked why, they spoke mostly about the good life, freedom and abundance. It was easy to see why, as many of the cities are showing signs of distress with their infrastructure and economic conditions.
Upon returning to the USA, a keen awareness for what we have here was at hand, and a renewed sense of gratitude prevailed. It wasn’t just about how we live, but more appreciation for those who came before us and their contribution to today’s world of order and opportunity.
When we think of the pioneers who came to America, how did they survive the cold and heat, death and hardship? Armed only with a few possessions, big dreams, and ambition they forged ahead with mostly survival on their minds. Yet, many made it through it all to a world of abundance using their creativity, determination, and a positive belief they could make something better.
There are three virtues which have proven foundational in every successful society; humility, gratitude, and contribution. It’s hard to tell which one comes first, but one must, at some time, apply all three for the happiest of times.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to avoid ugly rhetoric that resonates throughout our country. We know nothing is perfect, so, why do we waste time on that which has much to do about nothing, when we can put forth the same energy into improving things that need work and are important? Success does not arrive in a darkroom of negativity.
Lessons can be learned from those who came before us, and they deserve the greatest of praise and appreciation. Hopefully, today is a good time to complain less, embrace our goodness more, and give thanks to all who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and comfort. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Tony Ratchford, Broker for KW Realty Sioux Falls, CRS, ABR, SRES, Luxury Homes Institute Member