Life is precious, be thankful

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I recently received a letter by mail about the “War on Thanksgiving” column I wrote earlier this month. I found some very profound ideas within the context. The letter was from Charles. It read as follows:

“Ms. Berryhill,

I read your article ‘Be grateful, thankful every day,’ in the Wednesday, November 11th Oxford Eagle. I enjoyed reading something positive. With all the negatives in the papers and on the news, I just wanted to tell you that I share your view on life. Which is hard to do for a lot of people, out there and in prison. Yes, Ms. Berryhill, I am incarcerated and have been for the last eight years.

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Even with being in here, I have more joy and thankfulness in my heart than most people out there. I know how precious things in life are, and how fast we can lose them.

I know that I’m blessed with each day I wake. And with each breath I take. I hope you continue to write positive things. Reminding us, the world, that we’re so blessed.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you and may you always be blessed.”

I have gotten several notes of gratitude about articles I have written in the past, but this one took the cake. If someone ever wrote me a more heartfelt and genuine response, the United States Postal Service failed me because I never received one such as this.

I have knowledge of the sender’s incarceration information and why he was in prison. However, I did not include it — it doesn’t matter, but what he said does.

I agree with Charles because the fact the he — and the rest of us—wake up in the morning is a reason to be thankful.

Being grateful and thankful for whom and what you have is not subjective, it is objective. Your idea of happiness should not be based on opinions or ideals of others. It should be neutral and unbiased because it is relative to you.

Life is hard; there is no doubt about it. It’s OK to be upset and to cry — we’re humans. Every emotion is healthy in moderation. But, I think it is safe to say that everyone would like to be happy the majority of the time.

In order to be happy, we have to realize that gratitude is not only necessary, but also a choice. Some of the unhappiest people I know have every material and superficial thing they could want. Contrastingly, some of the happiest people I know have the least. On top of that, the happier people are usually the type to give the shirt off their back to help someone else.

You could take two people who have the same job, the same pay, house and car, so that all of the variables are accounted for. The person who sits down at the end of the day and counts their blessings — not their misgivings — will be the happier of the two. It is not about how much we have, but how much we appreciate.

Thanks to Charles for the sweet letter and blessings.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving week!

Lyndy Berryhill is a staff writer for the Oxford EAGLE. Contact her at