The story is told that in December 1914 after a huge explosion, Thomas Edison’s plant was engulfed in flames. The fire departments rushed to put out the inferno, but the intense heat prevented the fire from being put out quickly. The damage exceeded $2 million, unfortunately the property had only been insured for $238,000. Much of Thomas Edison’s work went up in flames that day.
As the flames were consuming years of labor, Charles, Edison’s son went frantically searching for his father. When he found his dad, he was surprised to see a calmness on his face. Charles’ heart ached for his dad who was 67 years old watching everything he had worked on for decades being destroyed before his very eyes.
Edison shouted at his son, “Where’s your mother?” Charles did not know. Edison told him to go and find her and bring her to Edison so that she could witness an event of which she would never see anything like it as long as she lived.
The next day looking at the ruins Edison said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”
Thomas Edison gained victory over a disaster in his life by looking at what he could be thankful for.
We might stop and ask what are we thankful for? There are a lot of negatives for us right now with the virus; lost jobs, canceled vacations, scaled down weddings, and even in some places virtual funerals. We wonder and wait for normal to return and may find ourselves naturally experiencing fear, thinking of the worst possible scenarios while focusing on the negatives.
Yet, is it possible that we could look around and think about the positives? Can we find a new appreciation for things we took for granted before the pandemic? Maybe it’s as simple as seeing in a different way our favorite cleaning items that we can’t find on the store shelf, appreciate toilet paper, or be happy we can finally get a haircut. Have we discovered longer talks with family and friends on the phone, or perhaps experienced deeper personal relationships? Many people are finding a new simpler life of satisfying home-cooked meals, outdoor walks, hours to read … all very simple things that bring satisfaction.
The key to happiness is being grateful for blessings we have. Start the day by identifying the good things in your life — both the large and small things. Write them down, verbalize them, and live a life of gratitude. This will help you through the tough times we live in.