Thankful and Grateful

thankful and gratefulLast week I was back in Silicon Valley and on Tuesday at 10pm my daughter Zoe convinced me to stop at McDonalds.

As I’m sitting there with a Dr. Pepper, fries, and a cheeseburger I said somewhat playfully, and somewhat seriously, “Hey Zoe, why are we eating this crap?” (her response: “Dad, these fries are bomb…what do you mean why are we eating this???”).

I look up and notice a middle aged man a few tables away. He was dressed nicely in what was clearly an inexpensive grey suit with white shirt and blue tie, like one of those thin ones that used to be in style in the 80’s that you’d pick up in a secondhand store. Across the table was his wife and young daughter, who oh so adorably and cheerfully chatted it up with an older guy sitting by himself a few tables away. It looked like he’d just gotten off work and was taking his family out to dinner.

Then, within seconds, I see him put his hands together and he starts praying over the meal.¬†I nudged Zoe gently and I could see her look at me like “Oh no, here comes another ‘life lesson’ from Dad!”

But it hit me heavy…

In my five years of living in Silicon Valley, and this is no exaggeration, not ONCE have I seen anyone give thanks over their meal. Yet here was this guy, at a McDonalds of all places, giving thanks and gratitude for whatever meal was before him..literally seconds after I was essentially cursing mine.

So many times, and for so many years, I have only expressed gratitude when it was the food I wanted, prepared the way I wanted, and when I wanted it…But last week, such a simple epiphany from a random man, made me realize I’ve been doing it wrong.

In that moment I decided that, whatever food is before me, I’ll be thankful and grateful.


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