These Grateful Days

Does anyone else feel like it's nearly impossible to raise grateful children (or even be a grateful adult) in America these days?

It would be easy to blame the problem on capitalism and corporate America: we're bombarded with commercials that tell us we "deserve it" and media campaigns that try to convince us that everyone else already has it. The day after Halloween (a full 27 days before Thanksgiving), my kids were enamored by the Christmas decorations at Target...complete with a cardboard Santa being swallowed alive by a massive Wish List. See, it would be easy!

But I don't want to take the easy way out. And blaming capitalism and corporate America won't help me, because I have no control over those things. As long as we live in America, we will be exposed to the kind of abundance that breeds greed. So, what's a mom to do?

Well, I'll be completely honest: I don't know. Some of the moms I respect the most are doing their best to foster attitudes of gratitude in their children, and they all have the same report: They still witness sickening entitlement and ungratefulness in their precious little princes and princesses. (Oh, puke...just typing that makes me sick to my stomach.)

Anyway, I've decided to try an experiment. For the next couple of weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, our family has committed to eating dinners that will look strikingly similar to this:

One of the things our family takes for granted is our ability to eat whatever we like, whenever we like, however we like. Hunger is something that none of us has ever experienced, and it's hard, nearly impossible, for us to comprehend the lack of basic necessities that millions experience world-wide. So, as we work toward the biggest feast of the year, we'll be eating basic foods like rice, beans, eggs, and cheap vegetables and fruits. My hope is that we'll be able to adjust our mindsets and realize, on a deeper level, how much abundance we experience each and every day.

I'll let you know how it goes.