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Thanksgiving: Is everything just perfect?

Thanksgiving 2022! What a wonderful opportunity for us to pause in our chaotic lives, and to give thanks. A friendly “thank you” can do wonders for any relationship. Try it!

A while back, we visited a local restaurant for dinner. The place was busy, and the wait staff overworked. When the meal finally came, an item was missing. The server promised to get it for us, so we started to eat. Near the end of the meal, our server returned with the bill but not the item. We were disappointed but needed to get to an appointment.

As we gathered our things to leave, a smiling assistant manager appeared at our table and asked, “Was everything just perfect?” My first thought was “perfect”? Are you kidding me? This isn’t a Forbes Travel Guide 5 Star restaurant. But I knew that if I said “no,” it would start a barrage of more questions and the obligation to detail the transgressions of the server, the chef, or the management. All I wanted to do was get on with my evening.

No matter how much you spend, nothing is “just perfect” in this imperfect world. One time a friend bought a new Lincoln Continental Town Car. It was loaded with all the bells and whistles that were available. When he picked me up for lunch, I noticed many small slips of paper randomly wedged into gaps and seams on the dashboard. He said he put them there to stop squeaks!

More and more we are getting surveys from businesses immediately after we have an interaction with them. Usually, it is a text or email that asks did “George” do a good job? Was he punctual? Did he resolve your issue? Recently, I received a follow-up survey after a doctor's appointment. It had one question: Name something good about your doctor.

I refuse to spend the rest of my life rating all of my interactions with others. This forces me to be disparaging of good people who may be having a bad day or Plantar fasciitis. Face it, some people just don’t do their jobs better than others, but they still deserve our gratitude even if they are not “just perfect.” Are you “just perfect” all the time? Anytime?

Being judgmental of others focuses on the negative experience. But by showing gratitude we shift the focus onto whatever positive can be found. Look hard – find something to appreciate. If you are waiting for everything to be “just perfect” before you can be grateful, you may need to reconsider.

For a few brief moments this Thanksgiving, look above the imperfections of others, and identify and appreciate the good. As it says in Ephesians 4:32 ESV, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

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