Learning to Give Thanks

Sometimes we get carried away with all the woes of the world. Our news feeds and media outlets are filled with stories of death and fear, anger and hatred. Every day we are reminded how weak and vulnerable we are. And every once in a while, we forget to be thankful for what we have.

A couple years ago, I ran across a quote from Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee Nation that read as follows:

Live your life so that the fear of death can never enter your heart. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason for giving thanks, rest assured the fault is in yourself.

These words have echoed between my ears every day since I have heard them for the first time. They are a mantra that reminds me to pause and remember to thank God for the small things in life. And this is how I want to live my life.

Earlier this month, I made it my resolution to live my life each day with these words echoing throughout my life. I want to live my life thankful for each and every breath.

I am still learning how to live so that the fear of death cannot echo throughout my life. I think, to some extent, I will always be afraid, but I don’t want it to affect how I live my life. I believe that if we learn to be thankful for everything we have, then we teach ourselves that we can live with fear and not have it control our lives.

Every morning, I pause. I stand and find my center. I give thanks for another day and the opportunities that each breath brings. I am thankful because I have the strength to see the light of another day.

So, I challenge you to see the words of Chief Tecumseh and be challenged to live in a way that you are no longer controlled by fear. Not just fear of death, but a fear of failure, fear of change, and fear of the unknown. Embrace the small moments that we often overlook, smile a little more, and stop every once in a while to say a simple “Thank You!”


Author: stkerr

Artist. Photographer. Writer. Nomad. Alumni of AmeriCorps NCCC, FEMA Corps and the St Louis Emergency Response Team. Dispatcher.

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