The Power of Gratitude
It seems as if my world is moving faster. Time is passing rapidly and most days and weeks run at a hectic pace. So much news, most of it negative, is so readily available that it takes a conscious effort to stay centered and focused on the positive aspects in life. I’m turning this letter over to my fellow publisher, Meredith Montgomery, as she shares a timely Thanksgiving reminder with us.
Tom Petty once had his home set on fire while he was in it. The only material possessions remaining after the fire were the clothes on his back. “I'm sure it had a great effect on the music I did, because I came back with this very positive, happy kind of music, that I didn't want to go into any dark corner or anything like that,” he said. “I was just so glad to be alive and to have escaped something like that.”
Recently, the publisher of Natural Awakenings Long Island, Kelly Martinsen, woke up in the middle of the night to an electrical fire the burned her house to the ground. Kelly said, “Reports said that we ‘lost everything’. I want to assure everyone that this is not the case. While our house may be totaled, ‘everything’ I need was found the morning after the fire as I held my kids and my husband in my driveway…for now, we have no needs.”
Waleska Sallaberry, the publisher of Natural Awakenings Puerto Rico, was staying with Kelly that night, and was the one who woke her in time to get everyone out of the house. Waleska has temporarily relocated to New York with her children after Hurricane Maria. While her life was turned upside-down in the hurricane and her family was present in the fire that demolished Kelly’s home, Waleska recently shared that the coming year will be the “Best year ever.”
These positive reactions to untimely situations shine a bright light on the power of perspective and gratitude. What if we were all able to live with a measure of detachment to material things, and maintained a peaceful sense of trust in what lies ahead?
Thanksgiving arrives this month as a reminder to express gratitude—especially for those things that can’t be bought or burned down. Whether it’s a beautiful sunset, a compliment from a stranger or the embrace of a loved one, those are the things that can make us feel the richest.