Good News Fridays

On Fridays, I try to share good news I’ve seen… because there’s enough bad news.

A veteran is reunited with his bomb sniffing dog.

A homeless teen is the valedictorian and tells others to never give up. (video)

Volunteers make a real difference in the lives of premature babies… by cuddling with them.

SPCA lib dub… best animal adoption advertisement ever!  (video)

There you have it for feel good Friday, and remember:

“Just because today is a terrible day, doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be the best day of your life.”
-Anurag Prakash Ray

Shouting Gratitude

IMG_1394Toward the end of October, I decided to try something I ultimately called 30 Days of Gratitude for the month of November.  My goal is to post 3 positive things every day.  So far, it’s been pretty easy, though I know some days will be harder than others.  I just wanted to do something positive because there’s a lot of negativity out there.

A friend and fellow blogger (Be Nice and Follow the Rules) is also doing 30 days of gratitude.  It’s not a new idea for her.  She usually posts what she’s grateful for each day in November.  Her most recent blog talked about how some people are receiving it negatively, as if calling attention to gratitude in November makes people hypocritical.

I was a little surprised at first, then not as surprised as I wanted to be.  The fact is that none of us exist in a static state.  We’re meant to change constantly, because if we’re not growing and changing, we’re decaying and dying.  I don’t mean that negatively.  I just can’t be grateful every minute of every day.  Nor can I be happy.  Or sad.  Or angry.  We’re not meant to exist too long in one state.

Should I be grateful for what I have every day?  Yes, of course.  And most of the time I am, in a quiet, personal way.  I don’t make posts about gratitude.  But sometimes it’s a good thing to call attention to something.  It doesn’t mean I’m not grateful other times.  Mostly it just means I don’t want to blow up my Facebook feed with something that mostly belongs in my journal.

So… what do you think?  Is having a month where people call attention to gratitude a good thing or a bit hypocritical?

Finding the Positive

IMG_0911Finding the negative is easy.  When I come home, and the dishes are piled in the sink, I notice that right away.  But if they’re put away or in the dishwasher, my eyes will skim over it, and it won’t register, because that’s the way it’s “supposed to” be.

In the same way, it’s easy to overlook when things are going well in life, when we’re getting along with friends and relatives, because it’s easy, and that’s what we hope and expect.

Recently, a friend of mine had two of his friends die unexpectedly in one week, and it got me to thinking about gratitude, and how easy it is to take loved one for granted.

Our loved ones annoy us.  My husband is no housekeeper, but he can be sweet and funny.  I’ll bet it would be easier to find a man who’d put his dishes away than one who listens… it’s all about being grateful for what you have, and noticing the positives.  He’s not suddenly going to become super-housekeeper, but that’s okay.

On a related note, I know that most people begging for money are going to use that money to buy alcohol or drugs.  I know this because of the work I do, so I don’t usually give them money.  Maybe food, if I have it.  My husband and I were at a gas station out in the ‘burbs, and a man came to us with a story about how he was stranded and needed gas money.  I didn’t give him money, because at this point, I figure everyone is running game.  The hubby said “I would have given him a few bucks if I had it, but my wallet’s empty.”  I went on my usual rant about how he’s probably lying, and my husband shrugged and replied, “Well, I know.  But what if he isn’t?  It’s only a couple dollars.”

I don’t feel that it’s whether I do or don’t give out money that’s the problem, but my attitude is wrong.  I’m looking for the negative, and when I do that, I’m likely to find it.  It’s wrong to make assumptions about people, even if it is based on experience.  Because really, at the end of the day, what would it have hurt me to assume the man was telling the truth instead of defaulting to “he’s running game”?

It’s better to look for and expect the positive.  The negative is still going to be there, but I don’t have to give it my energy.