Commentary: Many experts talk about the benefits of having an attitude of gratitude. There are numerous studies on the positive effects of having a mindset of being grateful. People who practice being thankful for what they have been found to have higher levels of positive emotions, a stronger immune system, feel less lonely, and have more happiness.
The past four-plus years have tested many of us and caused us to dig deep to find something to be appreciative of. It may be family, close friends, good health, a roof over your head, a job, food, and your pet. Search long enough and hard enough, and all of us can find something to be grateful for.
Blessings come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes where you least expect them.
We are thankful for the clumsiness of Governor Greg “Mr. Freeze” Abbott. When the great freeze of 2021 struck the Lone Star State, we got to live out our childhood dreams of acting on an episode of the Batman TV series. I would have preferred it be as Catwoman rather than Mr. Freeze, however.
His sucking up to the energy companies allowed Texans to experience first-hand what living in Canada in winter is like, saving us the expense of airplane tickets and being gored by a charging moose.
The Texas Department of State Health Services updated its official tally of deaths linked to the historic freeze in February and now says 210 people across the state died because of the winter storm. DSHS said most of the victims died of hypothermia.
What has Governor Freeze done to ensure that doesn’t happen again next winter? He called two special sessions of the Texas Legislature, but neither of them addressed Texans freezing their asses off or dying from exposure. So essentially, he sided with the power companies again and did nothing.
We are thankful for Senator Ted Cruz. During the aforementioned freeze, he taught us that Cancun is the place to be instead of stuck in our frozen homes without electricity. He also taught us that it’s all right to blame your kids when you get caught doing something stupid.
A few years ago, Cruz showed us how to turn the other cheek when an opponent calls your wife ugly and makes outrageous claims against family members. Yes, he taught us that self-respect is highly overrated.
We are thankful for the insurrection of January 6. When hundreds of Trumpers stormed the capital to overturn the results of the presidential election, the aftermath taught us that the Republican Party is full of faux patriots and power-thirsty elected representatives and that they live in a constant state of denial.
We are thankful that the insurrection fully exposed the cult of Trump. His followers saw with their own eyes the tragic events of that day and made excuses for it, denied that it happened, called it a tourist visit, or even worse, have sided with it.
All sarcasm and kidding aside, there really are things to be appreciative of this Thanksgiving. Like Liz Cheney. No, really! She gives us hope that not all Republicans are blinded by their desire for power and that some are willing to put the country before the party.
Cheney, who recently admitted she made a mistake in opposing same-sex marriage, had the balls to confront her GOP colleagues, saying, “I’ve heard from a number of my colleagues in the last several days who say they, quote, ‘Just don’t want this target on their back.’ They’re just trying to keep their heads down, they don’t want to anger Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, who has been especially active in attempting to block the investigation of events of January 6, even though he clearly called for such a commission.”
“A week after, I asked each one of you to step back from the brink. I urge you to do what you know is right, to think of the long arc of history. We are told that it bends towards justice. But it does so only because of the actions of men and women in positions of public trust. … Will you be able to say you did everything possible to ensure Americans got the truth about those events or did you look away? Did you make partisan excuses and accept the unacceptable?” she added.
Perhaps the thing to be most grateful about this year is the Covid-19 vaccine. Taking a shot or two or three in one’s arm has allowed most of us to resume somewhat normal activities without the constant fear of catching a deadly virus.
I’m grateful that I had the stamina to try my darndest to convince friends and family to get vaccinated. With varying degrees of success, I should mention.
But it’s like my mother used to say, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
Besides having an attitude of gratitude to keep positive, a sense of humor helps, too.