Each of us can probably find something to gripe about, maybe lots of things to gripe about. Some annoyances might be petty, others quite serious. No life is without bumps in the road.
At any given time, any one of us might have what Queen Elizabeth referred to in 1992 as an 'Annus Horribilis.' No one needs to know Latin to understand what that means.
Few of us have lived decades without at least one year qualifying for her majesty's description. No one is exempt from problems - not ordinary folk, not royalty. What distinguishes us is what attitude we chose about our bumpy roads.
I've been increasingly fascinated by what perspective can do for a problem. Sometimes just a little attitude adjustment is all that is needed; other times it takes a paradigm shift. Paradigm shifts are really big deals. Paradigm shifts are life altering, involving a whole new way of looking at something.
Young adults, for instance, often have a paradigm shift about the intelligence of their parents sometime after they are
no longer teens.
People with prejudice can have a paradigm shift and no longer see color or religion or sex or age as the determinant in others' behaviors. A city dweller can have a shift and change his entire life to build a log cabin in the country. I'm not talking about changing a preference; I'm talking about seeing something altogether differently.
That's what you and I can do for ourselves; we can see something altogether differently. We can go into this wonderful American holiday with real thanksgiving in our hearts. Let not one of us complain that we 'have to' go to a family gathering or fix a large meal for a dozen people or listen to old uncle Joe tell war stories for the hundredth time.
Let each of us change our paradigm from 'put upon' to 'lucky to have.' Let's adopt an attitude of gratitude.
A strange thing happens when our attitudes are of gratitude. The world and the people in it get a lot more loving. Kind of like those parents getting smart as we come of age.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.
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