Before the year started, we set out with what I termed as our long tin of thankfulness. I bought little coloured notes to help us. Each day starting January 1, each of us would write a note with a date of thankfulness to God for one thing or the other. The idea was for us to focus on a heart of thanksgiving as opposed to grumbling and thinking alot about the many negative things that surround us.

There are many things to be sad about, those regularly present on a moment by moment basis. From the sibling who switches on the light very early in the morning to the one who didn’t leave the bathroom in a desired state, to one who bangs doors and the one who wasn’t polite.

From the erratic drivers on the road who create several lanes and cause an unnecessary traffic jam. Everyone seems to be so angry one leader said he isn’t a servant. If it’s not a boda boda slumming your recently repaired second hand new Japanese car, it’s the potholes or the excessive heat wave that has hit and reminded us how we have destroyed our environment.

The many things to complain about surround and drain our energy and thus the choice to have the tin of ‘thank you’ notes.

The trick is in consistency, a little similar to new year resolutions. I placed the beautiful transparent tin in a place that would force us to see it and use it daily, the toilet area. Next to it was a beautiful set of pens along with the colour notes. A week or two into the project, the children had given up. So I got into a discussion with one of them so that we can reflect on the power of coming through on one’s word.

There is no strength, no gain in committing on a thing and failing to complete it. Mastery is the art and ability to do something beyond excellently even when it’s inconvenient. The ability to be consistent. So we committed on a 12months project and here we are, barely a month into it and we have forgotten about it. How can we claim to be persons of excellence when we cannot carry through the seemingly simple task of having something to be thankful for each day for 365 days?

I am thankful for cool weather, thankful for a nice warm bed, a hot shower in the evening, thankful for a friend or two with whom I can have meaningful conversation. I am thankful for health, thankful for the neighbour who hoots very loudly and reminds me that I actually have ears that work. I am thankful for a time like this when I can share life lessons and skills with the children, for example, the gift of thankfulness. There’s indeed so much to frown on but a thankful heart is medicine in itself. I am thankful for regular meals and the ability to eat and drink. I thank God for life and a chance to remember to be thankful.
-jmabola@yahoo.com