After experiencing heart palpitations, Irving checks himself in for treatment at a prestigious, state-of-the-art hospital. A few days later, he arranges to be transferred to a dingy little hospital a few blocks away. His friend comes to visit him and asks why he decided to downgrade.
“Did you think that the doctors in the other hospital weren’t competent?”
“The doctors,” Irving replied, “were absolute geniuses, about the doctors I can’t complain!”
“Maybe it was the nurses. You didn’t like their bedside manner?”
“The nurses,” Irving responded, “they were angels in human form! Florence Nightingale’s every one of them! About the nurses, I can’t complain!”
“So I guess it was the food? The food wasn’t good?”
“The food, it was mannah from heaven, absolutely delicious. About the food, I can’t complain!”
“Then Irving, why on earth did you move from there to here?!”
“Because here I can complain!”
As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, it may be worth a bit of reflection if we have on more than occasion become negative, and if we perhaps can improve our feelings of gratitude. This is easier said than done. There are so many challenges, difficulties, and sometimes pain in our lives. How do we summon the strength to be grateful and positive considering all the mishugas that we sometimes have to deal with?
It’s important to realize that having the right frame of mind in terms of gratitude is a matter of choice. Two people can have an identical experience. One of them will provide feedback about how wonderful the experience was and how grateful he is for the opportunity to take part in it. However, the other individual will be so negative about the experience and won’t stop complaining about it. This Thanksgiving, let us be more cognizant of the blessings bestowed on us by G-d, our family, and our community and let us make the conscious choice to be more grateful as we travel through the journey of life.
Have a Great Shabbos,
Rabbi Yaakov Fisch
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