the danger of gratitude


Believe it or not, I do like to look for the silver linings.

I can be a cranky son-of-a-gun sometimes….and I’m probably the first one to voice an opinion if something feels like a “rip off”….and I complain about stuff too much….and….

I better stop.

I’m making me sound like a jerk.

But….nonetheless….I do like a jolt of optimism and positivity every now and then.

I like expecting the good.

I was thinking about that, driving around in the slush and snow the other day, and wondered if pursuing gratitude was always a good thing?

Maybe being grateful for what I had was keeping me from pursuing what I needed?

I drove around a bit….pondering….trying to “keep it between the fenceposts” like my Dad used to tell me….and realized that “gratitude” didn’t equal “complacency”…..and then…. thought that maybe gratitude was the right word after all.

When I look for reasons to be grateful for the things that probably should be changed, I stick with the thing that needs fixing….and learn to enjoy it.

Maybe that’s not such a good thing?

I don’t really know.

I know that gratitude makes everything easier.

It makes “what is now” a lot more pleasant when I know that I should be grateful for it.

Maybe I should start with the most basic?

Basic…, “thankyou for my breathing”.

All the other details are extraneous wants when I concentrate on the most basic.

I should be grateful for the option of expecting and expressing gratefulness!

A “thankyou” on the exhale would keep me a lot more centered on things that make “me” more pleasant to be around.

Check this out! Did you know that there was more to the “serenity prayer” than what we usually say?

Serenity Prayer
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

“Reasonably happy”.


I wonder when we started expecting that it was some sort of birthright to be happy all the time?

Even “happy” at the expense of the people around us?

That’s an extreme….pretty selfish….but I see it happen from time to time.

Pretty crazy.

There is a need to recognize the things that could make our lives better.

I need to work at making my family’s life better and better….all the time.

But…while I’m trying to do that….I better be grateful….every day.

Gratefulness never gets in my way.


“that’s what the lonely is for” David Wilcox

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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