Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

This morning, I am grateful for little things that restore my hope for the future.

I am grateful for people who refuse to speak negatively. About anything. I don’t always practice this, but I am constantly convicted of it. I am grateful for people who share goodness. I am grateful for people who, when in conversation with others, offer hope when speaking of not-so-wonderful things, who refrain from talking negative just to fill space.

I am grateful for people in this world who are trying to make a better world. Who are trying to do what they can in their corner of the world to make it a better place.

I am grateful for the person walking through the parking lot who sees a piece of trash and picks it up to throw it away. I am grateful for the person in the public restroom who wipes down the counters and makes it less messy for the next person.

I am grateful for the drive-through employee who looks the customer in the eye and acts like they genuinely care that the customer has a great day.

I am grateful for the candidate who refuses to speak negatively but wants to share his/her hope and plans for the betterment of our society.

I am grateful for the religious leader who is not spewing hatred and disgust and dividing his congregation in “us against them” rhetoric.

I am grateful for teachers who send home notes of encouragement with their students instead of reprimand.

I am grateful to be a part of an organization that is making a difference in the lives of foster children.

I am grateful for the conviction to look back at what I have spoken the day before and ask myself if it was positive or negative, did it line up with Ephesians 4:29  and Psalm 19:14 or did it tear another down or bring another down?

I am grateful for this new season of changing colors.

I am grateful for people who greet strangers in the morning with a “hello,” or a “good morning,” or a wave.

I am grateful for my family members who step out of their comfort zone and do something good for this world by volunteering on a weekly basis at church, at school, at a community organization… They are not content to just be complacent and watch the days pass by.

I am grateful that this world is made up of so many different cultures and people and diversity is beautiful, and it should be celebrated that we are not all alike. I am grateful that at this stage of life, I am anxious and interested in learning about those who are different from me rather than sealing myself off. Jesus was the best example, and I want to be more like Him.

I don’t want to be the kind of person who dwells on the negative, who laments about the future of this country, who only talks about how horrible the other party is and offers only words that hurt and tear down. I want to be the kind of person who is optimistic about tomorrow, the kind of person that makes a difference in my little corner. I want to surround myself with others who share goodness and kindness towards ALL men and women, regardless of their views on politics or religion or abortion or homosexuality or immigration or gun control or climate change or genre of music or whether someone deserves mercy or justice or or or or or… I want to surround myself with people who are kindhearted. People who are Jesus to others, in word and in deed.

Okay. I’m done now.

Finally, I am grateful for the simple words and wisdom of this song, for the happy sound it makes. Here is a portion of the lyrics:

No no no no you never know what the world’s gonna show you,
It ain’t up to you.
You always think it’s gonna happen to another person,
And it’s never ever gonna happen to you. 
You got your friends, you got your money,
Got your family, got your honey,
You think you got a million days.
But then life comes along
And it knocks you right down to the ground and that’s why I say,

Everybody oughta hug somebody, at least once a day.
And everybody oughta kiss somebody, at least once a day.
Everybody’s gonna miss somebody, at least once a day. 
And everybody gotta love somebody, every day!

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