Gratitude in the New Year


Hank Segars

Lakelife Associate Editor


Well, here we are in the New Year and all sort of provocative news and bombastic opinion continues to inundate us. The overblown noise coming from so many outlets to include social media makes it hard to know what to really believe. It would be wonderful if 2018 could bring a simpler, less complicated and calmer year – but that’s not reality in today’s world.


New Year’s resolutions are commendable and still being made (even though difficult to keep). Instead of making resolutions, perhaps we should think about trying something different this year, maybe composing a listing of people and things we should show gratitude for.


  1. the top of the list we could start with family and friends and then try to add to it. This exercise might be more valuable than making resolutions that go unfulfilled.


And here are a few examples of a gratitude list:


Living in Georgia’s Lake Country. Oftentimes we take for granted the beauty and serenity of our small towns and the surrounding countryside. We are most fortunate to have Lakes Oconee and Sinclair and visitors are continually amazed to find so many good restaurants and historical attractions in our area.


  1. our seasons. We complain about the weather but think about how truly wonderful our seasons are -- distinctly different, mostly mild and quite pleasing. Even the days of snow and ice don’t usually last very long.


Taking for granted our friends from other places and from past years. We live in a mobile society populated by busy people with busy schedules. Keeping the bonds of old friendships is important, and we might need to show more appreciativeness to those who live far away and continue to stay in touch with us.


Gratitude for community volunteers. The number of Lake Country volunteers who give of their time, talent and money to help others is absolutely amazing. Not only can we offer thanks and add these volunteers to our list, perhaps we should join them in their worthwhile efforts.


Those who do good jobs in difficult circumstances also deserve our appreciation. We hear a lot of complaints about the lack of customer service and this can be warranted. Nevertheless, maybe we should show gratitude to those who are doing a good job and evaluate ourselves on how we treat others with our words and actions.


Our list for showing gratitude should include those working in a variety of roles that make our lives better: public servants who protect us, workers who keep our water safe, healthcare personnel, and those who repair our homes and cars. And we should not forget those good folk who take away our garbage, clean houses and businesses, and help with the yard work.


Gratitude is also due for those agencies and organizations that utilize good business practices and keep us properly informed; transparency should be paramount. Don’t we deserve to know how governmental taxes and charitable donations are being utilized?


This brief gratitude list only serves as a beginning for thinking about all the people to appreciate and everything we should be thankful for, especially those Georgia Bulldogs. And since everyone faces challenges in life, maybe we can work this year to grow stronger in our faith and develop a better understanding of how to overcome obstacles.


And who knows? Maybe this might be the year we are able to find new ways to make our lives simpler, less complicated and calmer. I hope so.


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