Choosing to be Grateful
Last night I started blogging (my first blog post) about how grateful I am to be in the state of Montana with my wife and three children. It seems that the more grateful you are the more you find to be grateful for. I don’t know if that makes total sense, but the more grateful I am in my attitude, despite the challenges I face at work, raising a family, or in the world around me, the more likely I am to be happy. Dieter Uchtdorf has said:
It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God. But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.
Like many of you today, I look around and I see the effects of a confused world. We hear many voices—constant voices—telling us what and how to think. These voices can be very loud and persuasive, and, at times, they seem almost impossible to block out. You can find yourself caught up in the latest political scandal, shooting, tv show, sporting event, or even a family argument over the color of a dress, and, while some of these things are important and deserve attention, a lot of the things that we bother to worry about are not. For myself, I try my best to avoid watching television and the “news” because if it’s really important I am going to hear about it anyway. Life is too short to let others influence you in a way that constantly brings you down.
Our Crazy World
Despite all that is wrong with the world, I can’t help but feel deep and profound gratitude for the exciting times we live in. Each of us has been blessed with opportunities that our forefathers could only have dreamt of. Admittedly some have more opportunities than others, but within each is an opportunity to live on this wonderful Earth. We don’t have to agree on religion, politics, sports teams, or which diet is the best (even if low carb is actually the best) and that’s one of the great parts of life—we can be different and still enjoy opportunities to live, love, and experience the world around us.
While there are a lot of things outside of my personal control (like the weather and whether Trump or Clinton, unfortunately, becomes president) there are still a lot of things I can control. For example, I can control how I treat others. I can choose to be kind, I can choose to be respectful, I can choose to extend mercy, I can choose to empathize, and I can choose an attitude of gratitude.
As an attorney, I have an awesome and sacred trust to be a voice for others. The word “attorney” comes from the Old French atorné…”one appointed.” Most often, at least for me, my clients are appointing me with the responsibility to step into their shoes and be their voice—to say what they cannot adequately say themselves. At other times, my role shifts to that of a counselor. As a counselor at law, I can assist my clients by steering them to the solutions or outcomes they desire. A person might, and often will, need help in a matter that I am not qualified, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help. Sometimes people just need to talk to someone or to bounce an idea of someone or to get guidance on where to get the help they need—I can help in all those situations.
I’m grateful to live in Montana—the last best place. This state is great, not only because of it’s majestic mountains, hills, and wildlife, but because of it’s wonderful people. I wasn’t born here, but I feel it is my home. I’m proud to call Montana my home. I know that I’m speaking in generalities, but Montanans are good and hard working people. While not perfect, we seem to be more confident in the future and in our abilities. I believe Montanans are, for the most part, unassuming, humble, and grateful people. I believe that Montanans are God fearing and a people of great faith.
I look forward to being part of the fabric that makes Montana great. I look forward to serving the people of the great state of Montana. With so much craziness going on in the world, I find comfort that Montana is a place where I can feel gratitude on a daily basis for the good all around, and a large part of that is because of you, the good people of Montana (and the excellent hunting).
Thanks for taking the time to read my first post…and I promise (if necessary) to have some more legally significant posts in the future.