Many mornings, over eggs and toast, I thumb through social media. Maybe that’s a mistake, but I want to be connected – global politics, social trends, and sure, some celebrity gossip too. But it comes at a cost. It doesn’t take more than a few scrolls before I am bombarded with cynicism, offense and outrage. Our social discord is an ugly battlefield of polarized debates and vitriolic rants.
Even the most positive of us can get dragged into the mire. Luckily, there is a powerful antidote that cuts through the toxicity, and that is the practice of thanksgiving and gratitude.
I’ve read that the literal translation of mahalo is “may you be in divine breath.” It points to a historical worldview that was steeped in gratitude and always connected to a higher perspective. And I want to embrace that ritual.
There is a real battle for our optimism and joy. When we practice gratitude and thanksgiving, we not only transform our own lives but the people around us also. We all know the presence of a grateful soul, they are a delight to be around, and their presence and perspective colors reality. If we desire to embody the spirit of gratitude, we must choose it deliberately. Our tasks will be to appreciate the blessings, beauty, and opportunities more than we bemoan the challenges, pain and loss.
This is no easy thing. But we should begin with the habit of thanksgiving. The intentional act of looking for and expressing appreciation for our blessings. So right now, decide with me to turn from the vice of cynicism and offense. Choose to play your part in making the Kona Coast a community full of gratitude.