Norton: It all starts with the attitude of gratitude |

Norton: It all starts with the attitude of gratitude

Each day brings us an opportunity to look upon the world in awe and wonder. Depending on where we live, travel or vacation, we have opportunities to see and experience some amazing sights.

Mountain tops are once again covered in snow against a bright blue sky. The fall foliage seems to have come alive this year with greater vibrance, and the flowing of a river or creek carrying the fallen crimson, orange and yellow leaves.

The magnificence of a sunrise as it enters the sky and fills our day with hope. The calming sunset that reflects all the events and beauty of our day. A Caribbean Sea caressed by the breeze singing a song through the palm trees. A rolling ocean as the waves crash upon the sandy beach and rocky shore.

Even if we do not get to experience these beautiful sights and sounds firsthand every day, with social media we still have the chance to appreciate them through the posted photos and videos online. Or when friends or family share with us a picture of their surroundings or current situation. And when they do, it lifts our spirit and feeds our attitude of gratitude.

Some of us may not get to see nature’s wonders and God’s paintbrush as often as others, but we all get to experience something even more beautiful, more awesome, and more tremendously amazing, we get to see one another. And even more than the beauty that surrounds and inspires us, there are everyday people of all ages who bring us to tears of joy as we watch and listen to all they contribute to this world. It is even more special when they do not even know that we are paying attention to them.

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These folks fill our spirit, pouring into our own attitude of gratitude. The smile and laughter of a young boy playing with his puppy. The look of awe and wonder on a young girl as she watches a ballerina perform live on stage. The belly laughs of a grandfather as he tells his favorite stories from yesterday. The scent of mom’s holiday cooking filling the apartment and home with the love. God’s greatest creation, his most beautiful works, can be seen by simply looking at those around us at any given moment.


And then there are the people who really inspire us, the givers, doers, and those who humble us with their servant’s heart. One of the greatest joys this world can offer us is the opportunity to serve others.

All too often, we look to be served, and if the service isn’t up to our standards, takes too long, or perhaps doesn’t happen at all, we get upset. We are put out. And then, as if perfectly timed, we are humbled as we watch as someone else serves a homeless person, volunteers at a shelter, donates their time and money and smiles lovingly through it all. That is awe and wonder, and that refills our attitude of gratitude.

Sometimes we are simply watching passively at the beauty that surrounds us. And other times we are active participants in this life, engaged in the creation and the doing, living in the experiences, and sharing each moment. We appreciate every sight, sound smell, smile, gift, breath, hug, call, text, card, message and message of hope and encouragement that fill the atmosphere all around us. Our attitude of gratitude is so strong we want to share it with everyone.

Here, during this week of Thanksgiving, let’s remember that during the chaos and confusion, disruption, and doubts, that there is still so very much to be grateful for. The joys are found in the littlest and simplest things. The awe and wonder found on the faces of children of all ages. God’s paintbrush that colors the sky, the mountains, oceans and desert.

What fills your attitude of gratitude this week? I would love to hear your story at and when we recognize and appreciate the beautiful blessings that surround us, it really will be a better than good year.

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