Put Gratitude in that Attitude (Thanksgiving)

Two nights ago, it was getting late and I was complaining about something or other (shocking). My wonderful girlfriend said that before I to sleep, I had to list five GOOD things going on to counterbalance the one speckle of flotsam that I was fixating on.

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During my first year of rabbinical school, I facilitated a support group comprised of folks dealing with HIV and/or AIDS. Most of them had done jail time. Many of them had lost family. I tried to survive each week without them realizing that I was playing the part of someone who knew what they were doing. There's no question that they taught me a hell of a lot more than I could have possibly taught them.

One Friday morning, one woman was kvetching. It seemed that nothing would go right in her life, and all she wanted was a break.

Another woman looked at her askance, took a deep breath and bellowed out: "Girl, you need to put some GRATITUDE in that ATTITUDE!"

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Thanksgiving is full of lots of things: food, football, family (drama). But at its heart, its an enzyme that eats away at our negativity, forcing us to have a perspective of gratitude.

Last year, I made the following 60 second video for a TED talk competition. (No, I didn't win.) I tried to convey the message that Judaism (and I'm guessing, many religions) is a catalyst of perception, forcing us to perceive the miracles in our lives.

Here is that video: (click to watch)

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Saying 100 blessings a day does not only bring our attention to the blessed aspects of our lives that deserve blessing or thanks. They do that, sure, but that's not what's most important. The underlying truth is that the habit of saying blessings (whether religiously based or not) cause a perspective of thanks.

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And so, on this Thanksgiving, I ask all of us to ...

PUT SOME GRATITUDE IN OUR ATTITUDE!

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Happy Thanksgiving.

Two Jews three opinions ... Why do we argue? (Vayishlach)

Is it Two People or a Cup of Wine? The Answer is Torah. (Toldot)