The Salvation Army has begun its annual campaign.

So, yesterday, on the first of what I am sure will be many trips to the grocery store before Thanksgiving, I found the famous red bucket.   And heard the bell ringing, which frankly I am just sappy enough to adore.

In fact, it’s not the holidays until I hear the Bell ring. I walked up, dug around in my purse, found money, and dropped it in.  I said to the man, who was very friendly, ringing the bell in the somewhat frosty air, “Thanks for doing this.”

He replied,  “It’s an honor.”

I thought of his comment frequently that morning and wondered about him.  When he smiled, you could see that some of his teeth were missing. He was neatly dressed, but definitely could have used warmer gloves and a heavier coat.  It was fairly early on Saturday morning, so it was prime-time, college football-watching season.

He was there, ringing the bell.

“It’s an honor.”

Later that afternoon, in the same grocery store, I was impatiently waiting behind someone with an extremely full cart, holding three items that I had, of course, forgotten earlier.  Suddenly, my son who had come with me, stopped juggling two lemons (not a great feat obviously and only done to amuse me).  He quickly stepped into the next aisle. Next, I saw him walking a lady out with her groceries.  She was thanking him profusely.

I learned, as I walked out, that he had helped her wipe up a big spill, caused by her toddler.  As she was getting her tousled, crying child in the car, she told me she had had a hard week.  She had put two pet dogs down. Her eyes were fatigued, although smiling at me.

The spill was the “icing on the cake” of her week.

My son finished helping her get groceries in. She told me I had a great son. He told her, grinning toward me, not to give me any credit.

He is right.  I just got lucky.

It’s an honor.”

Little things made my day today.

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”#gratitude #drmargaret”]I think little things make my day almost every day.[/tweetthis]


What is that phrase?  An “attitude of gratitude”. That’s what I want to have.

But sometimes I hear a voice that questions. It’s almost an inner guilt that chides, “You can feel this way because you have never been poor or lived in the projects etc…..”.

That’s when I remember people like the red bucket man.  Or countless others I have worked with who have grown up in such places, are living from paycheck to paycheck, have buried their children, or endured abuse.  Yet they have found gratitude. Resilience. They have looked for small things to make them laugh, and have fought to live on  “the bright side of life”.

It was my honor to meet the man with the red bucket, and to work with so many people that I admire and respect.


Happy Thanksgiving to all. My gratitude to you, as always, for reading.


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If you have enjoyed reading this post, please send it on!   Maybe as a “thank you” to someone to whom you are grateful.  Maybe to someone who shares the honor of their friendship or their life with you.  Who stays on “the bright side”!  Thanks for reading!