I feel you can not be pessimistic if you have a grateful heart. Pres. Monson said the following in his message: "This is wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice and friends who help. We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate with our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude is numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues."
As parents and adults we need to set an example of being grateful. President Monson gave a short list of things to reflect upon in starting your own gratitude list.
First, there is gratitude for our mothers. I miss my Mom more than I can ever express. I find that I didn't appreciate many wonderful qualities that she had until she passed away. She had written her life history and before she passed away I completed this history and added many pictures and other information that I had found while going through some of her belongings. There were so many things that I didn't know about her. I wish I had known more about who she really was. I would counsel all of you to appreciate your mothers and have an desire to really get to know them right now and in their later years.
Think about and ponder upon the gift of your mother who brought you into this life and tried her best to be a good mother. I am grateful for my dear mother.
Second, think about your dear fathers. Be grateful for the father in your life. Here is another one that I have reflected up on since he passed away. My father was such a good man. He was a kind and gentle soul who would do anything for anybody. He was such a good husband, father and grandfather. As children we knew how much he loved our mother; there was no doubt about this. He was and is a very good man. I have many endearing memories of this marvelous man who was my Dad. I miss him so much and only regret that we didn't live nearer my parents and my husband's parents during their final years.
I really miss my husband's dear parents too; I loved them so much.
Third, remember with gratitude our teachers. I am so grateful for so many that have been such good examples to me through the years. I have many memories of those individuals that touched my life and taught me well in all areas of my life. Take a moment and reflect on people who have touched your life. Be grateful for them all.
Fourth, be grateful for your friends. I truthfully don't know what I would have done through the years without my many friends. Through the years they were always there for me. They would listen to my struggles, help me when in need, and preformed many acts of service for me and my family. They have been true earthly angels to me. Of course, my top angel friend is my dear husband. This man has been such an example of a disciple of Christ. He is loving, kind and giving. He touches my life every day in so many ways. He is the love of my life and I pray for an eternity with him.
Fifth, love the country you live in. Honor and obey it's laws. Be ever grateful for this nation is a blessed nation; a promised land for all of us who live in America. May we pray for this nation and it's leaders. May we never forget those who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. May we preserve the Constitution of the United States. May we stand for the right and support the good in this country. Be grateful for this country.
Sixth, but perhaps the most important of all; be grateful for Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. President Monson said the following in the article: "His glorious gospel provides answers to life's greatest questions. Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where does my spirit go when I die? .......He taught us how to pray. He taught us how to live, He taught us how to die. His life is a legacy of love, The sick He healed, the downtrodden He lifted; the sinner He saved...... He is our master, He is our Savior, He is the Son of God. He is the author of salvation. He beckons, "Follow Me."....Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His word. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude"
I am so grateful for my Savior. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't kneel in prayer to my Heavenly Father. I know that my Savior walks with me. How I look forward to the day that I may kneel at His feet. I often times picture my sweet little granddaughter, Averi who is blind; going forth to meet the Savior and she will see his face.
Now just a few thoughts on teaching your children to be grateful.
First of all they need to hear you being grateful for all the blessings you have. When you go on a walk or on vacations talk about this beautiful earth that has been created for us all. Talk about this wonderful land. Express gratitude frequently for all the gifts given to you in your life.
Second, let them hear you be thankful for each other. Let them see how you treat your wife and or husband.
Third, let them hear frequently how much you love them and how grateful you are to have each of your blessed children.
Fourth, help your children learn to be grateful for parent, grandparents and for their siblings and other extended family. Provide time with each and everyone of them. Help them to grow up knowing their Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.
Fifth, plan a service project with your children to help others. There are so many people in need. If you help your children learn to serve this will be such a blessing in their lives. They will grow up learning to be grateful for opportunities to serve. We have involved some of our grandchildren in serving a few of the people we serve in the Inner City Project. It was so sweet to see in there faces the excitement of serving others.
Sixth, teach your children to be grateful for all of their blessings. One way to do that is to teach them to say; "Thank you" when they do something good. Teach them to thank those individuals who help them in school, church and other places. Help them to learn to appreciate and love their family members. Help them to be grateful for each other. When they receive a gift within the family or from friends; teach them to say Thank you for this gift. It is also awesome if you teach them to write a quick thank you note for gifts received. I know as grandparents we love to hear Thanks Yous and read Thank You notes.
In a blog post I was reading on teaching your children to be grateful; the thought came up that children that are grateful have better attitudes, better at achieving personal goals, they have closer relationships, greater Happiness , better grades, greater energy, attentiveness, and enthusiasm and greater sensitivity. All of that suggests that we be better teachers to our children so they will learn to have grateful hearts.
I have noted that on face book many individuals are writing a note of Gratitude daily during the month of November. I would say that you should do this ongoing. I find that when I think more often about gratitude; I am more apt to look for things I am grateful for.
Perhaps this Thanksgiving Day you can express to your loved ones how grateful you are for each and every one of them. Also, give them an opportunity to express their own gratitude.
I have decided that I will continue to look for things to be grateful for and to write them into my daily journal. I challenge you all to do the same.