25 Gentle Reminders to Cultivate Your Gratitude Attitude


The economy isn’t stunning (all right, I admit, that’s putting it generously). And climate change just keeps on changing. But the truth is that in spite of great challenges, there are also plenty of things going on in the world – and in your life – to be thankful for. Here’s a list of some of the things for which I’m thankful. 25, to be exact, but there are so many more that could be added to the list. I hope you’ll share what you’re thankful for, as well.

-Forgive me for exposing my political inclinations, but Inauguration Day is less than 2 months away. Out with the old, in with the new!

-Know that despite what you hear on the evening news, there ARE people making good things happen in the world.

-In Macedonia, a country with a population of just 2 million people, soldiers and civilians recently joined together and planted 6 million trees in a single day. Let’s be thankful for this positive act and its ensuing ripple effect.

-In similar news, Indonesia, which planted 100 million trees in 2007, is going to plant 100 million more in 2008.

-For those of us happy to see organic food come back in style (after decades of pesticide-laden food being the norm), “U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to an estimated $20 billion in 2007, and are projected to reach nearly $23 billion in 2008. Organic food sales are anticipated to increase an average of 18 percent each year from 2007 to 2010.”
– 2007 OTA Manufacturer Survey

-Wal-Mart is buying wind power for its Texas stores, and expects to get 15% of their power from wind. With 460 Wal-Mart stores in Texas, that’s a lot of fossil fuel saved. And it’s a good example for other big businesses, too.

-No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, be thankful that you have access to food, hopefully healthy and delicious, and hopefully enough to share.

-Friends and family. Yeah, it’s the old standard of things to be thankful for, but seriously, where would we be without them?

-Some endangered species are making a comeback!

-Even though we are looking forward to a post-petroleum world, it is rather nice that gas is relatively cheap right now.

-Carl Pope provides a great list of things to be thankful for in the Environment.

-There really are Good Samaritans left in the world, like Marilyn Mock, a Dallas, TX “Foreclosure Angel.”

-Japan vows to spare humpback whales during their annual Antarctic hunt this year, although they still plan to kill other species of whales. Let’s be thankful Sea Shepherd is doing their job disrupting that!

-For those of us who are employed, let us be thankful for our jobs and income in these troubled economic times. And for those of us who are unemployed, enjoy the free time and make great use of it – good things can arise from setbacks.

-Barack Obama publicly mentioned reading a Michael Pollan article and continued on to make intelligent comments regarding America’s agricultural addiction to oil and monocultures. Let’s hope we’ll see some positive changes in how food is grown in this country.

-To see the day’s headlines without feeling depressed afterwards, I’m thankful for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

-Let’s be thankful that the season for political ads is over.

-Women over 50! (In this case, because they’re likeliest demographic to buy green.)

-If Los Angeles can do it, anyone can. Although not known as a particularly ecological city, the Los Angeles city council has voted to ban plastic bags by 2010.

-As more people strive to buy food locally, the number of farmers’ markets is still on the rise.

-Four states voted to ease marijuana (including medical marijuana) laws in the 2008 elections.

-Henry Waxman has toppled the reign of auto-industry-loving, backwords-looking John Dingell, chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. Maybe now we can make some real industry changes without having our hands tied behind our backs.

-Thank goodness for environmental artists, bringing our attention back to the nitty gritty of our world.

-Mushrooms. And Paul Stamets’ presentation on how they can save the world.

-On a final note: kitties again!

Image: Thiru Murugan