Long ago I heard a turkey story. I don't know if it is true, but if it isn't it ought to be. It concerns a man who lived in the hills where there were wild turkeys. Each year the man went into the hills to catch his Thanksgiving turkey. He had a very unique trap- it was simply a very large, heavy wooden box. One end of the box was propped up with a stick. A string attached to the stick was stretched out to some nearby bushes where the man could hide and wait for a turkey. Long lines of corn were laid out reaching from the woods to the box, and more corn was placed under the box for additional bait. When a turkey followed the line of corn to the box and stopped to eat the corn underneath , the man simply jerked the string, the stick fell, the box captured the turkey.
Just when there were ten turkeys in the trap, they suddenly flew. The man quickly pulled the string, but all he caught was the first big gobbler. It was a fine bird, very adequate for his dinner. But his Thanksgiving was ruined. He was unable to give thanks for the turkey he had because he was thinking of the loss of the nine.
Quite often we hear people complain about what they could have IF...if they had just sold out sooner, if they had invested when they were younger, if they had gone into another line of work. This pessimistic way of looking at things is a tendency we can avoid if we simply remember to be thankful for what we do have and enjoy the turkey that did not get away.
Giving is so much fun that it would be nice to have a great deal to give away. We don't generally have a chance to give away as much as we receive, so it is important to learn how to receive with gratitude. Lack of gratitude is a mark of colossal conceit because it indicates that we think no one else has contributed to what we have or what we have accomplished. We come into life helpless; we go from life helpless. For a few years in between we may be able to carry our own weight, but never will we balance the scales even if we help other people. Always we will be deeply in debt, and the only way we can settle the account is through our gratitude.