You can ask anyone if they are grateful for their good health, and the general response will be, “of course,” “definitely,” or “I am blessed.” That’s an easy answer to an obvious question, but are we truly thankful each day for our good health?
Generally speaking, most people tend to take their health for granted. Sure, there are times when we are thankful. But that is only during an illness or being around someone who is battling health issues. Many people take their health for granted and don’t really think about how blessed they are to be in good health. We are rarely grateful when we are feeling good. We can say we are grateful for our health, but do we show it? Do we thank God, the Universe, or our higher power for it? We may say we do, but really think about it. Are we truly grateful?
The Flip Side Of The Coin
On the flip side of that coin is when we are feeling bad. This is a ripe area for conversation. When most people are feeling bad, they have no problem telling you or the world. We all know people like this, or maybe you are a person like this. Our newest ailment is an opportunity for the world to know and experience what hell we have to live through just to face the day. Take a moment and try to think of someone like this. I bet it didn’t take too long before a name or a face came to mind. When someone tells you how bad they feel, many people come back with their own ailment. In a sense, trying to one up the other.
Everybody Loves Raymond
It reminds me of an old Everybody Loves Raymond episode. Ray is in the steam room with his dad and five older gentleman. Complaining starts when one guy asks another if he is still “stiff.” The guy responds that his knee still bothers him. The guy who asked the question responds with, “Yeah, I got that.” Ray’s dad then says, “My back is still acting up,” to which the same guys says, “Yeah, I got that.” Finally Ray chimes in saying he has “a shoulder thing.” The guy with all the ailments asks Ray, “You mean up here between the neck and the shoulder blades?” When Raymond responds with “Yeah, yeah…it’s like a knot.” For the last time, the same gentleman says, “I know…I got that.” My point is that people generally do not have a problem talking about their ailments. Even more specifically, they want you to know.
What’s The Big Deal?
You may be asking what the big deal is? How can I be grateful for being healthy…shouldn’t I be healthy? Or, what’s the problem if I tell people about my ailments? The simple answer is for joy and happiness. Being grateful for your health makes you aware of your blessings and puts you in a positive mood. People who are grateful for what they have are generally happier people. Being graceful when you’re feeling bad stops the complaining. It stops the “Poor, poor, pitiful me” mindset. The combination of these two approaches to health will make you a happier, more joyful person.
My Dear Church Friend
Every time I read this quote, my mind settles on our dear church friend, Sally. Sally was one of our leaders of youth ministry at our church. She loved being around kids. She always had a smile on her face and never complained about anything. She was always there, on time, each Sunday for the children. Well, there was a few times she wasn’t there on time. But that was because, for some reason, Daylights Savings time always tripped her up. To see her every Sunday, you would think what a happy, healthy, blessed lady. Well, she was definitely happy, and definitely blessed, but she was not healthy.
She had been feeling bad for more than a year and a half. She had been having stomach issues and could only eat a very limited diet. She believed this was all due to a specific allergy she had. She had confided in my wife and a couple of her really close friends, that she was having some stomach issues. She said she needed to figure out her diet for quite some time. Eventually, the pain and discomfort became so great that she had to see a doctor. After a few tests, the problem was found. The short story was that she was in very late stages of cancer with a not so great prognosis. Once she started her treatment plan, it was only a few short weeks before she went home to God.
Looking at Sally, being around her, talking to her, you would never know she didn’t feel well. Apparently, she had battled this illness for quite some time, but no one really ever knew it. When she found out about her cancer, she offered it up to God and to all those who are suffering in the world. There was no complaining, no “Poor, poor, pitiful me.” It was only a clear display of gratefulness when she was having good days, and gracefulness with the bad ones.
I try to live by her example. I do my best to be grateful for my good health, every day, in both my prayers and my actions. I also do my best not to complain when I don’t feel well. I read a quote, about complaining, where the author said, “Don’t complain. Half the people you complain to do not care and the other half are glad of it.” That makes me laugh every time but I also believe there is a bit of truth to it.
No one wants to be around someone who is constantly complaining about their health. Be graceful when you are not at your best. Sure, you can share with someone that you do not feel well, but don’t complain about it for an hour. Don’t make it the central topic of conversation every time you see that person. Gratefulness when you are feeling well and gracefulness when you’re not, will put you in a state of peace and happiness. Be thankful that you have the health you have. Their is always someone who has it worse. So live each day with this reminder, and find the peace, joy, and serenity it provides.