This Thanksgiving, actiively find what you are thankful for

Being awash in bad news takes no effort.

From unemployment to Afghanistan — and any other myriad topics — finding something lousy to focus on requires an Internet connection or a TV remote.

My pastor mentioned a few weeks ago that a good way to focus on God’s blessings would be to chuck the newspaper and your preferred cable news outlet aside and not obsess over the gloom and doom. Since following the news is a big part of my career, personally it’s tough to do, but the sentiment of zeroing in on the positive is right on the mark.

I just wrapped up a story on renewed concerns over famine in Ethiopia. Earlier this year we have reported on growing lines at food banks, the devastation of torrential rains in Asia and the aftermath of the fatal commuter plane crash in Buffalo, just to name a few. Unquestionably, 2010 will bring similar stories to cover, all noteworthy, but no less unsettling.

Regardless of the news you are confronted with this Thanksgiving in the world around you or in your personal lives, find something positive to thank God for. It may be your family, your job, or simply the ability to help someone in need.

I’m not, and never will be, some sort of self-help guru. Often that help comes from deliberations in our minds and discussions with those closest to us. Maybe I’m too much of an optimist, but I still think most people can set aside their feelings of negativity and cynicism at least for a short time to concentrate on some aspect of their lives which brings them contentedness. I hope you can too.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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