Series, The Apprentice

The Apprentice: Let’s not get it twisted…

By Kizzy Katawonga

For the turkey! At least I will be after hogging a good share of it.

Last weekend was Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America, an interesting holiday for a nation generally known for its insatiable appetite. Think about it, one day out of the whole year just to be thankful. They kill millions of turkeys, imbibe tons of alcohol and watch some celebrity or other do something foolish on live television. Awesome! Only in America!

But seriously, when I look at my own life and ask how many times I take a day out just to be thankful for everything in my life and I come up rather short. Be honest, you probably haven't done so in years either.

It seems that it is a very hard condition to be thankful these days. We are all about doom and gloom and never enough. Even those of us who are blessed with so much more than the rest of the 6.9999 billion people in the world, we constantly want more than what we have and aren't remotely thankful for what we do have.

More cars, more money, more food, more friends, more love, more sex, more, more, more. Is it possible that a human being simply cannot be satisfied?

So, let's talk about thanksgiving. The good book says to be anxious for nothing but with prayer and thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Now if you're anything like me, and most of you are, I hardly ever do the thanksgiving part.

You know how you beg and weep and pray for weeks for something and then you get it and without missing a beat jump right next to the bigger shinier version of that thing without so much as a moment of thanks for what was just given to you.

I think the proportion of our asking to our thanking is probably something like 99999:1. Seriously, look back at all the prayer requests you've sent heavenwards and compare with the number of thanksgiving prayers. I'm sure we'd all be super ashamed. I know I am.

My wife and I try to instill in our daughter the habit of saying 'thank you' every time she is given something. However, it's made me more conscious of how rarely I do the same.

So while the good Americans only take one day out of the year to give thanks, they are definitely on the right track and we should copy them. Perhaps one day out of the week is a better place to start though.

It is said that the secret to happiness is being grateful for what you already have. It's not “that” next thing that's going to make you happy. It's appreciating and being thankful for what is already here. I'm learning that there is so much to be thankful for at any given time even if it's as simple as being thankful that I can see, hear, smell and touch.

Get into the habit of thanksgiving. Gratitude has the amazing ability of banishing negativity and hopelessness, and bringing light into our lives. When you get in to the habit of spending the first few waking minutes thinking of the things you're thankful for each day, you will find it easier to face the day with gusto.

Now please understand that I'm no expert here. As a matter of fact I could be one of the most pessimistic people you'll encounter. Shifting from a gloom and doom attitude to that of thankfulness is hard and requires some serious effort; But like all things, it gets easier with practice.

So, right now, I'm thankful that you are reading my article. I'm thankful I can write words that people want to read. I'm thankful I have a laptop and internet access. I'm thankful I have hands to type and eyes to see and a sharp mind. I'm thankful that there's a humongous list of things I can be thankful for.

I could go on but I'd like to leave you to go think about the millions of things you have in your life that you can be thankful for.

Shalom.

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