www.whyville.net Nov 7, 2010 Weekly Issue

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It's easy to look at all the flaws in your life and forget about all your blessings. All the "you can'ts" and the "you won'ts" can pile up and create a negative perspective on life. It's depressing to think about all the hardships in life, and can be even more troublesome if you ignore the millions of things worth being thankful for.

For those of you who celebrate the holiday, Thanksgiving, you know that it is just around the corner. You can almost taste the pumpkin pie and turkey dinners you'll devour in a few short weeks. Also, for those hardcore shoppers, Black Friday is an exciting (though rather hectic) opportunity to start getting the latest sales for holiday gift giving. It's easy to look at all the glamorous, tasty, fun, and exciting parts of November and forget about what the beginning of the holiday season means.

Instead of focusing on the less meaningful parts of this time of year, try to think with a new perspective. Think about how the people who started this holiday were making the best of what could have been a miserable time. They were cold, hungry, had lost loved ones on the journey over, and been hit with disease. It would have been so easy for them to think, "I give up," or "I hate my life," but they chose instead to make peace, and celebrate the fact that they had actually made a successful trip over to the New World.

In my opinion, this is a great example of how you can have a positive outlook on the hardships in your life. Though life was so much different back then, we can still learn from their experiences. We still are faced with obstacles that look almost impossible to overcome. Rather than having a negative outlook on what might be difficult, we should try to think on the bright side of things.

For example, if you say you hate your mom or dad, think of it this way: at least you have a mom or dad. So many people in the world are either born into single-parent homes, or have parents that have left or died. If you hate school, at least by thankful that you have the opportunity to become an educated human being. There are so many little things like this that we overlook and don't recognize as a blessing.

Now more than ever we should all challenge ourselves to be more positive and grateful for what we have. I know from personal experience that changing your outlook on life can be a life changing decision. I'm a much happier person now that I have shown gratitude towards the people and situations in my life. My only hope is that you'd also be willing to become a more thankful person during this time of the year.


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