Recently, I watched the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith. The movie, which is based on a true story, is about a father trying desperately to provide for his family and to make a better life for himself. Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, a salesman of medical equipment who is just getting by. His wife leaves him because of their financial struggles, and he’s left to care for his son. While he struggles to keep his family together, he accepts an unpaid internship at a brokerage house. As he tries to prove himself on Wall Street in an effort to land a paying job, he encounters setback after setback. He’s evicted from his apartment. He and son move from shelter to shelter each night. One night they sleep in a bathroom. And the list of difficulties goes on.
The movie reminded me that in the midst of budgeting, saving, investing and so on, sometimes we need to step back from it all and just be thankful for what we have. Like most everybody, I’ve had times in my life that weren’t so good. In fact, some periods of my life were just downright awful. But even in the darkest hours, we can always find something to be thankful for. And during much of our lives, we can find many things to be thankful for. In the movie, the one thing that struck me most was that Will Smith’s character, even in the midst of many setbacks, never gave up, never complained and never blamed others. Were there times he felt like giving up? I’m sure there were. But he persevered, and in the end. . . .Well, in case you haven’t seen the move, I won’t spoil it.
The point is this–when the challenges that money can present seem overwhelming, step back and think of five things for which you’re thankful. Tonight, here is my list:
- My family
- My job
- Our freedom
- Books (I love books)
- Inspirational movies
So what’s your list?
Published or updated March 22, 2012.