Gratitude. As a concept it sounds easy, right? Count your blessings. Have an “attitude of gratitude” and all that. With the holiday season approaching comes a certain amount of reflection with regards to friends and family members no longer with us. It’s a shame that we tend to take people for granted until they’re gone. Why not be grateful for them right now? Part of it has something to do with an unwillingness to accept others as they are, rather than as we want or expect them to be. Stepping deeper into the abyss, one could argue that one’s ability to accept others is directly proportional to the ability to accept one’s self.
Sure. But are you grateful for you? I’m not talking millennial-style narcissism here. Nor do I speak of some arbitrary measure of worth based on comparison to others. All of the modern, post-industrial age concepts of self-worth are really a marketing ploy anyway. Being grateful for you exists on an entirely different plane, one outside the reach of masterful, mass media manipulation, which is probably why the concept isn’t discussed very often. It’s easier to market to groupthink.
So, as you travel the well-worn road through the holidays, try to remember to be grateful for yourself — for your unique you. No one else has what you have, and no one ever has or ever will. This isn’t a call to arrogance; it’s actually just the opposite — it’s a call to humility. It isn’t about awarding you a “participation trophy” either. But how else do we ever find ourselves without first accepting ourselves with gratitude?
I’m grateful for me. And, in moments when I see clearly, this gratitude unfolds toward other people in my life. The abundance of truly, remarkable “selves” I know is incredibly humbling. Without them, this magazine wouldn’t be. To everyone who has ever contributed to The East Nashvillian in any way, I’m grateful. To those whose stories or photos have appeared on our pages, I’m grateful. For our readers and the advertisers that make publishing this possible, I am truly grateful.
Enjoy our holiday issue.