Discussion 21: Attitude of Gratitude

Job Club Heart of Texas, Job Search | 62 comments

This is a story we could all learn a lesson from!



Gratitude Napkins
by Robert Williams

Frank’s Diner was once an energized, thriving business, a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike in the scenic New England town of York Beach, Maine. But when the economy hit a brick wall, Frank found it more and more difficult to hold onto his trademark, cheerful smile.
One day, Frank caught a glimpse in the mirror on the diner wall of a grumpy, scowling old man with frown lines embedded deeply in the corners of his mouth. He didn’t recognize the man as himself. Looking around his desolate diner, he knew that it wasn’t just the economy that had driven his customers away – it was his pessimistic attitude toward life. Frank had tried to remain optimistic but it seemed like the hits just kept coming, like a NorEaster pummeling the coastline. He often wondered what there was to look forward to each day.
His eyes met with a booth in the back corner of the diner where a frail elderly woman ate breakfast with a college age girl. Mrs. Sheridan and her caregiver Michelle had been coming in for breakfast every day for a couple of years. Frank would nod and force his face into a smile when they walked in the door each day. They were his best customers after all. Mrs. Sheridan would conclude each meal by scribbling something onto a diner napkin and placing the napkin in her purse with a contented smile.
One sunny fall day, even though the New England leaves painted a breathtaking landscape outside the diner windows, Frank was oblivious to the beauty that surrounded him. He was currently crouched under the counter, grumbling about how the dishwashers were always leaving spots on the coffee mugs. A feeble voice above interrupted his rant.
“Frank, I wonder if I could have a word with you.”
Frank nearly smashed his head on the cash register as he jumped to his feet, looking at Mrs. Sheridan in surprise. Michelle held onto the old woman tight, obviously propping her up. All Frank could do was nod agreeably.
“I wanted to talk to you about these…”
She lifted her trembling arm, pointing toward the frown lines on Frank’s face.
He opened his mouth to say something, to explain, to defend himself… but realized he had nothing to say, so Mrs. Sheridan continued.
“Young man, I learned a long time ago that life doesn’t always go your way. Believe me, I have 90 plus years of my fair share of heartbreaks and challenges that I could easily carry around with me as baggage. Instead, I choose to carry these with me.”
She reached into her purse and took out a stack of the napkins Frank had watched her scribble on every day. She had written things like: autumn leaves, Michelle’s kindness, seashells from the beach, the beautiful sunrise today, another delicious breakfast at Frank’s Diner.
“Frank I would like to challenge you to do the same; to stop carrying around your struggles and start carrying an attitude of gratitude instead.”
After Mrs. Sheridan further described his daily “homework assignment,” Frank didn’t have the heart to refuse her request.
At first he did it to appease her. As she watched from her booth each day, Frank would dutifully take a napkin from a dispenser on the counter, scribble something he was grateful for on it and put it in his pocket. The process was mechanical in the beginning, mindless instead of mindful. But each time Mrs. Sheridan smiled over at him, wordlessly encouraging him to continue.
Frank barely noticed when things began to change, when the words of gratitude he jotted down on the napkin each morning began to sink into his thick, stubborn skull. The attitude of gratitude he had inadvertently adopted through the sheer routine of it, began to truly mean something. That was when Frank’s life began to change…
A little over a month into his daily gratitude homework, Frank once again caught a glimpse of himself in the diner mirror. The reflection in the mirror was of a glowing, joyful man whom he hadn’t seen for years. This man looked forward to each new day with hope and enthusiasm.
Still smiling almost uncontrollably at the realization of how much life had changed, Frank surveyed his now bustling business. Locals, staff, and tourists alike were cheerfully enjoying the revitalized space. Even though Frank hadn’t made any physical renovations, the diner somehow looked brighter to him. His eyes automatically drifted to the corner, to share in the moment with Mrs. Sheridan. But for the first time in a few days, the booth was empty. Frank’s heart sank…
A couple days later Michelle arrived and placed a box on the counter in front of Frank with a solemn smile, tears glistening in the young woman’s eyes.
“Mrs. Sheridan wanted you to have these.”
Looking at the floor so she couldn’t see his own tearful eyes, Frank simply nodded his appreciation. He felt an overwhelming wave of gratitude wash over him that such a special lady had come into his life, and exactly when he needed her most.
By time the springtime leaves were blooming, Frank’s Diner was more popular than ever in York Beach. There was one new feature in particular that was a huge customer draw. When a diner patron reached for a napkin from a dispenser, they also received a message of gratitude printed on it. Each message was word for word from Mrs. Sheridan’s collection; along with a few from Frank’s own personal stash. Beneath the message was the question – “What are you grateful for today?” with a blank line beneath. Frank would watch from the counter as customers of all ages and from all walks of life eagerly scribbled their answers on napkins, and almost always with a smile. Mrs. Sheridan’s unwavering attitude of gratitude, it seemed, had transformed not only his own life, but the lives of those around him as well.
The question for each of us is, what steps will YOU take today and every day to adopt an attitude of gratitude in your life? Will you make the choice to focus on your burdens or your blessings? It is so easy to feel shortchanged when we focus on lack and what is wrong in our lives. But when we practice gratitude as a daily habit, life has a way of transforming positively around us. Whether you use something as simple as a napkin journal, when you write down the things you are grateful for each day you’ll be changing your view of the world around you, just one day at a time. All habits have a starting point. Start your’s now!
Be Grateful!
KeepYour Hope Alive!

What are you grateful for in your life? 



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  1. beverlyheaton

    A wonderful story thank you for sharing it with us. I am grateful for the past few days I have been filling in as a receptionist at a local business office, it’s not permanent but it has made me feel useful again and I know that there is something for me somewhere in the workforce.

    Beverly Heaton

  2. sheilaparrish

    Hi Job club Members,
    This is Sheila Parrish
    “I am thankful for waking up this morning and my good health”

  3. Susan Wade

    Good morning everyone, Susan Wade here. It IS a good morning. I am grateful for the health and well-being of my children and the blessings of my grandchildren. I am grateful for good friends who are like family. Most of all, I am grateful to be here to enjoy all the blessings I have been given.

  4. Jeffrey Gregoire

    Awww, that is a great story! Thanks, I needed that kind of inspiration! Always a pleasure to read this kind of article & it makes one stop & think. Time to put it in practice. Thank you! Jeffrey Gregoire

  5. michael calderon

    I thank you for a wonderful story. I am greatful for my family helping me though these hard tines. I know there is a job out there for me.

  6. tommyharper

    Great story, well timed. It made me think about all I have to be thankful for. Today I am mostly thankful for my loving and supportive wife and all the blessings the Lord has bestowed on me.

  7. ljwp

    Thank you for the touching story.

    I find that my spirits are always lifted when I do something for someone else. Even just making a point of thanking someone for their assistance in a store or just saying “Thank you and have a blessed day!” gives me pleasure. It also generally results in a return smile from the recipient.

    Thank you TWC staff for your assistance and encouragement and have a blessed day.

    Linda Parten

  8. sharringt0n

    Beautiful story, thank you!

    I am grateful for so many things. Last night we put up our Christmas tree, and I am grateful we all three were in good health and together.

    Looking forward to the job fair!

  9. jannpage

    Good Morning all. What a wonderful story and I know it can apply to many people everyday. I am grateful for my part time job. It gives me joy to meet people with a smile and a happy hello. That leads to chats that provide laughter and that makes me smile all over again. Meeting people (new and old friends) has always been one of my best assets. (in my opinion)From Jann page

  10. jeridsmith

    Thank you for the great story. I am very thankful for the things I have like my family and a roof over my head. Its great to know people care enough to post positive stories to remind us to be thankful and positive.

  11. kilgovir

    Thank You for the great story. I agree that a smile and being an optimist goes a long way to change the way a person feels and acts.

    We all have things to ge grateful about and I try very hard to feel blessed daily.

    Thanks Again, Virginia Kilgore

  12. Penny Bell

    Good Morning, such an amazing and encouraging story. I’m grateful for my family, life, health, sound mind, grateful heart and all the support I have from friends and family. Thankful to God for all his blessings.

  13. kareypatterson

    This is a wonderful story. I thank God that I have a part-time job to keep me going, knowing that maybe this is meant to be for now. I have an older sister 64 years old with a rare terminal illness. Hospice says she has a month maybe two left. This part-time allows me to help with her care and prepare to say goodbye.

  14. Charles Becker

    Good Morning JOB CLUB members; Good Story. “Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.” Mr. Zig Ziglar 1926-2012

  15. Jeremy Holt

    Jeremy Holt here and want say that I absolutely agree. It is so important to have a good attitude.

  16. Ron Stratton

    Thanks…a great story and a story that I need to keep in mind. I believe that I’ve seen that same scowling look in my mirror a few times lately. The fortunes in my life certainly outweigh the misfortunes so I think I’ll look for a box napkins.

  17. Charles Waddle

    Correction: That is Project Manager

  18. Frances Gerick

    reat story ! I’m grateful for my family and friends and thankful to God for all my blessings!

  19. chriscutbirth

    Just glad to be alive.

  20. Eugene Wlodarek

    Terrific story and very inspiring.

  21. lancesanders

    sorry I am little late. Had an interview earlier

  22. Victoria

    A wonderful story! Good health, love, family, friends–these are the things that make one rich. Job openings I’ve seen include a Recreation Specialist with the City of Waco and a Web Design Instructor at TSTC. Best wishes!–V. Nimmo

  23. sherriemorgan

    thanks for the encouraging story. i’m thankful for my supportive family and freinds.
    saw this job posted:
    casewroker at Examination Management Services, Inc on http://www.indeed.com
    Sherrie Morgan-Cole

  24. Michael Dutton

    Great story. We all have great blessing in our lives every day regardless of how well things are going in our direction. These blessings are what puts a smile on our face. Our attitude can be a witness and encouragement to those around us.

  25. Jonathon Pledger

    It’s so easy to get down about things, but I have learned over time to be grateful for everything because I realize now that I have truly been blessed. Thanks for sharing that story.

  26. ernestinesample

    I found this story to be very inspirational. It’s so difficult for we as individuals to find values and happiness in little things when we feel like life is crashing down on us.

  27. ernestinesample

    I have had to realize the same thing. even when we feel like we have nothing, we fail to see how blessed we truly are.

  28. Mark

    Inspirational story.
    Mark shoesmith

  29. Daniel Coulon

    Great story – thanks for the reminder.

  30. Bob

    Great story. When I think about it I know I have many blessings to be grateful for in my life and I will work on my “Attitude of Gratitude”!

  31. markskinner

    In my case, the story was well-timed. I have been working at a part-time job and it’s not like anything I have done before. The job itself is ok, and all of the people I’m working with seem to be really good folks and are easy to get along with. But, the job is just “different” for me, and I have been a bit down I think just because it’s not in my comfort zone. This story gave me a good reminder of how fortunate I am.

  32. dorothy conroy

    This story reminds all of us to thank God for all the blessings he gives us each day. When my feet hit the floor I smile really big and thank him for another blessed day.

    Dorothy Conroy

  33. jeffwhite

    Sorry I was late checking in I have been taking stuff to scrap yard to cover some unforseen circumstances.. But this is very helpful information. I would like to ask If I could come in one day and go over my resume and see if we could tweek it a bit better.

  34. Melvin Freeman

    My list of things to be greatfull is a long one.

  35. Candice Lovell

    Thank you for sharing this story, I have a lot to be great full for and I have to admit that I think more about the negative things than the positive.

  36. ioniajones

    This is Ionia Jones:

    Karry P., how blessed you are to be able to be with your sister! I am so happy for you. I know that you are cherishing every minute that you are with her. The story was beautiful; it reminded me to remember all the blessings that I am constantly given. I am so grateful for my family, friends, my kitty cats and all the wonderful people I have met throughout my life. Have a good week club members!

  37. ioniajones

    Karey Patterson, I am sorry that I missed spelled your name!

    Ionia Jones

  38. angeladevinney

    Thank you for the inspirational article (and cry, lol). I am grateful for the ability to walk again after my rollover wreck 10 years ago. I’m grateful for my family, health, and having a part-time job.

  39. William

    Great story there are a lot of people that need to be inspired by that story. I try to keep a positive attitude about my job situation as is. It has been almost a year now since my layoff. I am thankful for family and friends that have supported me in my time of need. If the information i heard just the other day is right we may all be in trouble though. After the first of the year we may only have 6 weeks of unemployment to go before it is cut off for good. I want to repeat this just just something I have heard not anything I know for sure. I will have to do some calling or research on this myself to be sure. I am hoping it is not the case. I hope and pray we can all find jobs before this happens if it happens.

  40. Jon

    Thank you for the story, I used to worry about all the negative things going on in my life and it got me no where. Then I started to be happy with what I had and be thankful for those things, then the negative things did not seem to matter or they fix themselves.

  41. janastewart

    Wow, what a touching story. I really liked this. This is the way I am living my life. Don’t give up. God only puts as much on you as you can bear and be grateful for each day of life and what it brings. I liked the story for the reason that someone else has gotten the message of appreciating little things in life. I am grateful for a lot of things and thank God every day for them. If you smile you can’t have bad thoughts and you automatically will be cheerful again. Just try to think of something bad while you are smiling. Not a halfhearted smile, but a real one and it’s not possible to think negative thoughts. So, always keep your smile on your face and life seems to be much better!

  42. ChaiHo

    Thank you for the wonderful story.
    I am thankful for my supportive family and friends.

  43. brandyrodriguez

    Great story!! As depressing as it is to be laid off- it did come at a good time for me as my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and it has given me the time to take her to her appointments and to spend time with her and my children that are growing up way too fast. As I am looking for work- I try to remember not to get down about not being able to find something because I have been given another opportunity until I find work.

  44. Joan Campbell

    Hi JobClub. This is Joan Campbell. I am thankful for so many things and I try to never lose sight of that. I am thankful that I have had so much support in my job search. I get text every day asking how this or that went. It helps.

  45. MissRudd

    Mr. White,
    Yes you may come in to edit your resume. You may come see us any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at either 9AM or 10:30AM. Please email me your desired appointment time so that we can schedule you. Anyone who is interested in editing your resume may take the same steps.

  46. Gary McCully

    Good story.

  47. carolynwalter

    Carolyn here. Though this was a very good story about being grateful for the things you have in your life instead of dwelling on the bad, I believe that with faith and trust in God you will always be thankful for what HE has blessed you with. I am blessed with many people and things in my life, which I thank God daily for. Being unemployed has been difficult at times but it has also given me the ability to be with my Mom for 17 days while she was in the hospital and to be with my daughter for her firstborn. Blessed, I am.

  48. Melvin

    Please come in Tuesday 9:00 AM

  49. Diana Marquez

    good afternoon,great story loved it.I know one day I’ll be lucky to get a good job still have my faith in everyday searching nothings changed.Hope everyone has a nice day

  50. jenniferferris

    Thank you for a wonderful story.

  51. evelyn dickerson

    That Was A Awesome Story,Sorry I Read It Late.But I Am Bless For My Grandchildren,And Family They Have Been A Big Help.And I Know There Is A Job Out There For Me.Thank You All So Much.


    hey guys
    sorry so late, my world has been turned upside down, wife has been in hospital whit congessted heart failur, a stint put in and now shes had to go on dialysis because her kidneys have failed and me still with no job.
    for those out there that pray please include us.
    when thing get better I will have some comments for for a while I will just check in.

  53. shellycawthon

    I have God in my life and that makes me have peace with whatever life brings me. I’m happy.

  54. zshade37

    Great story, really makes you think about what you have. I’ve asked lately, what I would like for Christmas, a yet I have no answer. I have everthing I need right now

  55. Christie Watson

    That was a very encouraging story.It really lifted my spirits especially after the day i have had today.I am grateful for my son,food to eat and a roof over our head,and most of all God who helps me in all I do.

  56. kn1964

    Thank you for the great story…. I read : Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others.
    Thanks again!

  57. christiemiller

    That’s. a nice story.

  58. MissRudd

    ATTENTION EVERYONE! If you are interested in any of the following positions, please email me immediately at rachel@campusjobxpress.com.

    Donation Attendant
    PT Word & Excel Instructor
    Temporary Spanish Interpreter
    Maintenance Technician
    Tutor (Teacher Certified Preferred)
    Warehouse Assistant/Forklift/Warehouse S&R Assistant

    Showing interest in one of these could get you a referral card to one of the employers at the job fair IF you match the necessary qualifications. You will receive a referral by email ONLY, so be sure to email me your interest.

    Don’t Wait!
    The Job Fair is December 13th from 10AM-2PM at The H.O.T. Workforce Center.

  59. lindahill

    I am grateful that my Mom is still with me. I am grateful that my kids and grandkids are all healthy and hardy!

  60. hcharwell

    good to be wise

  61. zonagreen

    i thank you for your input


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