Amy Rees Anderson

Perspective and Gratitude

Several years ago my family and I were down visiting the small town of Bicknell, Utah with our dear friends.  We went to a church meeting down in Bicknell back then and a very humble young man got up and gave a talk on perspective and gratitude that was awesome.  In his talk he shared a story/poem that I absolutely loved and I searched to find it for years but couldn’t.  Until today – today I was at a church meeting here by my home and a man got up and gave an awesome talk on the same subject of perspective and gratitude and he shared the very same story/poem that I had heard years before.  I was so excited because this time I was able to write enough lines down to google it and find a copy of the story/poem and now I can share it with all of you.  It is one of my very favorites because it teaches an amazingly valuable lesson on perspective and gratitude.  Here is the poem:

“One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, ‘How was the trip?’

’It was great, Dad.’

‘Did you see how poor people live,’ the father asked.

‘Oh yeah,’ said the son.

‘So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip,’ asked the father.

The son answered:
‘I saw that we have one dog and they had four.’

‘We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.’

’We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.’

‘Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.’

‘We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.’

‘We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.’

‘We buy our food, but they grow theirs.’

‘We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.’

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, ‘Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.’”

Oh, how I love that poem. I just love the way it reminds us to be grateful for what we have in life rather than allowing ourselves to focus on what we don’t have.  It is so easy to see the negative until you stop and look at the positive.  All of us fall into the trap of seeing the negative in life or the trap of focusing on what we don’t have rather than what we do have.

I love this time of year.  Thanksgiving is a great holiday to remind us of all that we have to be thankful for and all that we should feel grateful about.  May our week be filled with expressing thanks and feelings of gratitude!



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