How not to be thankful

Published 9:01 am Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Look at the next guy. He’s richer, younger and smarter. He’s got a bigger house, nicer car and better children.

Look at the next girl. She looks younger, has no health problems, never gets stressed out, is thinner and has the perfect family.

Complain. About everything. There is plenty of fuel if you just look around. Are you getting older? Is something hurting? Is there something you want and don’t have? Did anyone ever mistreat you?

Look for someone to blame. The targets are all around. Blame politicians (any will do), your boss, a co-worker, your husband, your wife, your kids, the weather, religion, the president, your dog, where you live, the younger generation, your father, etc. Just pick one and run with it.

Learn to be cynical. It will not take much practice. Behind everything anyone does is probably a bad motive. Be skeptical. There’s something suspect behind every good deed. Life, if you give it time, will turn out bad.

Find fault. If you have been married any length of time, there are a thousand things to notice. How they chew, how fast they walk or slow they drive, how they dress, the thermostat setting, volume on the radio, how they don’t listen, can’t hear, talk too much, never talk, gain weight. If you run out of material, consider your in-laws.

Think of an unkind word spoken to you. Ponder it. Mull it over. Chew on it. Let it go down deep so that it’s never forgotten. Keep it somewhere it can easily be retrieved on a rainy day.

Do not consider there is more than this present life. Convince yourself this is all there is.

By all means, do not enjoy October sunsets, blue-eyed babies, unconditional love, black cows on green grass, the fact you did not go to sleep hungry last night, that you can walk, a full moon, saying “I love you,” ocean waves, laughter, a beautiful woman, bald eagles, humming birds or a tantalizing kiss.