October 8, 2020

Thanksgiving and giving thanks

As Thanksgiving approaches, I hope to make the holiday a little more than a day off work with a big meal. It’s an opportunity to reflect on what I have and to be grateful. And that’s a good thing to do.

But apparently, being grateful goes beyond just being a “good person.”  It has other benefits.  No less than the Harvard Medical School tells us that there is a correlation between gratitude and happiness and better health. In one study quoted:

Two psychologists.. ..asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics. One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

Whoa! If we are more grateful, we are more likely to be happy and healthy?  No jogging? No giving up gluten? I’m in and I will share:

Among my many good fortunes, I am grateful for the career I have had. I have always made a living helping others, whether they be humans or animals. Change a life, love what you do, and get paid for it? How great is that? Moreover, to borrow from our friends at the Ottawa Community Foundation, I have had chances to, “help good people do great things” along the way. That is an amazing feeling.

So, I guess I have to add to my gratitude list everyone who supports the Ottawa Humane Society and all the other organizations that are making a difference in our community and in the world — because you are good and you do great things, and I am grateful for it.

Please have a safe, happy — and grateful — Thanksgiving.

Bruce Roney
President & CEO