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Keeping An Attitude Of National Gratitude (Spin!)

Updated on September 14, 2014

That's A Good Thing!

There's a little book that I used to read to my kids that I can't get out of my head. That's Good! That's Bad! by Margery Cuyler is full of wild adventure after two kids get lost in a theme park. The last sentence before you turn the page is either That's good, or That's bad! The kids get dropped out of an air balloon... that's bad, turn page; they land on an elephant's head and get to slide down the trunk... that's good, turn page; they land in a scary forest… that's bad, and so on.

I don't know how much the kids picked up from it, but I thought it was a wonderful metaphor about life. Just when you have everything lined up right and it's looking pretty good, nice holiday planned, all bases covered including an evening with your boss, and spin—your crazy convict uncle from Las Vegas shows up! Goodness, you have children in the house. You think everything is a disaster and the rug has been pulled out from under you, when, spin, he teaches your son to pitch a fast ball and he makes Little League as the pitcher!

I think that's they way our blessings and lessons work. God just keeps tossing us the ball, and it's up to us to handle it, until the next pitch is thrown.

While bad things DO happen, and I'm certainly not condoning 'bad things'; here's my sometime, lighthearted list of, Bad Things, Good things, with the idea, that there's always something to be thankful for.

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7 Good Things That Spin Out Of 7 Bad Ones

1. Thank you Corporate greed?!?

BAD THING: "If you're looking for the real group to blame for our crappy GDP [economy], you've found it: American corporations. American corporations have become so greedy and short-term focused that they're barely investing at all." Business Insider

GOOD THING: However, thank you, to the consequentially unemployed Americans who are diligently cleaning up the planet by scouring their communities for discarded metals, and hauling them to our recycling centers to be re-assigned. I've been there, and the lines are staggering!

2. Thank you California media industry?!?

BAD THING: You don't have to read "TV Bloodbath: Violence on Prime TIme TV" to realize that Hollywood's excising of censorship for sex and violence on TV has made many of us parents wary of watching prime time with little kids in the room. Our TV stands dark. A lot.

GOOD THING: If my house is any kind of example, our kids are simply watching less TV and spending their time actually doing things and interacting with their friends. (Oh, and it's not just me: "Young People Are Watching Less TV")

3. Thank you Marlboro?!?

BAD THING: Your unwavering commitment to monopolize every cigarette shelf in every gas station in America, and then promptly raising the prices to six plus bucks a pack...

Good Thing: ...which my husband refuses to pay. Consequently he's thrown in the towel, or should I say lighter, and has quit smoking after 40 years. His sky-rocketing blood pressure is finally coming in for a landing.

4. Thank you Walmart?!?

BAD THING: For installing twenty cash resisters and scheduling just one cashier, thereby forcing us customers to step up and learn to serve ourselves. A juggling background comes in handy as we scan, open bag, trigger weight sensor, scan, remove bag? It's only a two bagger system! Toss back into cart? Pull out new bag? Remove items from cart? Scan…oops alarm sounding, I think that means the store is about to blow up.

GOOD THING: Now I only buy things that are small, easy to pass through the scanner, and fit into two plastic bags. Lower tape totals!

5. Thank you Proctor & Gamble?!?

BAD THING: For your magically shrinking food packaging, specifically the the volume of canned and frozen goods we use in recipes, thereby making the 81 million cookbooks printed by Betty Crocker and Joy of Cooking, obsolete. (Warning, if you're planning on making a pumpkin pie, read this: My Gandma Knows)

GOOD THING: On behalf of the married women of the world, dear husbands, yet another reason why it's impossible to reproduce the meals your mother made.

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6. Thank you Nextel and Mark Zuckerberberg?!?

BAD THING: For introducing the means for the excessive texting and Facebook activity that kept our kids 'tuned-out' during their teen age years.

GOOD THING: However, along comes graduation, and a move to college. At 2,000 miles away, we find ourselves texting, facebooking, skyping and instant messaging; keeping our loved ones, close and our technical skills sharp via their virtual world.

"The fastest growing demographic on Facebook these days is parents. They're using the social networking site to communicate with colleagues, look up old friends and yes, stay in touch with their teens and college kids too." -About.com Young Adults

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7. Thank you American Capitalism?!?

BAD THING: 2013 saw two new record highs, 1) the wealthiest 400 Americans are now worth a record $2.02 trillion (Forbs Magazine), while, 2) a record 16.7 million children are living in food insecure households (U.S. Census). These numbers might leave you wondering if a nation based purely on capitalism is such a good idea.

GOOD THING: I don't think THIS is happening in any other county...

"In what is being dubbed the "new age of philanthropy", America's wealthiest, who are worth over $2 trillion, are being urged to be bold and to think about what they can give away. As of July 2013, 115 billionaires have signed up, including some of the biggest entrepreneurs in the world, with pledges so far over a half-a-trillion dollars. " -Forbes

"The Giving Pledge is a campaign to encourage the wealthiest people in the world to make a commitment to give most of their wealth to philanthropic causes. The campaign specifically focuses on billionaires and was made public in 2010 by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates." -Wikipedia

8.Thank you ABC and the producers of Shark Tank?!?

Bad thing: While this TV series takes advantage of the voyeristic appeal of reality shows, a decidedly seamy media phenomenon in popular television that downgrades the integrity of theater where the draw is to contrive to put contestants into emotionally battering situations so we can watch, Shark Tank's premise is: "multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons -- will… give budding entrepreneurs the chance to make their dreams come true and potentially secure business deals that could make them millionaires." - Shark Tank

Good thing: The outcome is that a number of start-up businesses are being put on the fast track to success with extremely high revenues that almost always result in streams of new new jobs for the companies. Perhaps the Feds could take a few lessons here, or lend a helping hand to continue this little swipe at our unemployment rate.

Looking Ahead

Has Your Sense Of Gratitude Increased Or Decreased Since Last Year?

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    • profile image

      Beth37 3 years ago

      How funny, I loved a book like this when I was a kid, but it's not the same book. http://www.vintagechildrensbooksmykidloves.com/200...

      I agree, gratitude changes everything.

    • EGamboa profile image
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      Eileen Gamboa 4 years ago from West Palm Beach

      Thanks Alicia! It started out as a funny tongue-in-cheek, but then I thought maybe it wasn't the season or topics for sarcasm. I guess I ended up somewhere in between. Thanks for reading

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting and thought provoking list. It's started me thinking about good/bad things in my community and life!