"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
November 26, 2012
Grateful for the 101
by Kathryn H. Kidd

Our friend Michelle Karren taught a lesson in Young Women this month that has had me thinking ever since. She said that on Thanksgiving, her family has a tradition of giving thanks around the dinner table for 101 things. They can be big things, such as life and love, or little things, such as indoor plumbing.

I think of indoor plumbing as a big thing, but I guess I’m in the minority on that one.

Michelle illustrated how easy it is to come up with 101 things to be grateful for by giving the girls a bunch of areas. She went from girl to girl, and each of them fired off something in that area that made them happy. Some of the categories included these:

  • Living relatives
  • Dead relatives
  • Friends
  • Historical figures you admire
  • Nature
  • Technology
  • Things about home
  • Good things to eat
  • Favorite places

You could add a whole lot of other categories, too. Once there’s a structure like that, it’s easy to come up with things that you consider to be blessings. I could come up with 101 people just in the “friends” department. Ditto the “historical figures one.” And when it comes to things of nature, I could go all day.

Heck, I could come up with 101 things I’m grateful for about Fluffy. There’s a lot of stuff in my life that needs to be recognized and thanked.

Initially, Michelle had me act as a counter. When she got ten answers in each category, she went on to another one. But the girls got so excited with their contributions that Michelle quickly stopped having me cut them off when the tenth answer was spoken. After all, if the purpose of the lesson was to show that there’s an unlimited number of things to be grateful for, why limit people from expressing that gratitude?

All I can say was, the lesson was a wild success.

I liked Michelle’s lesson, but even more than that, I liked her tradition of expressing gratitude for “the 101.” I’ve been focusing on gratitude all month, thanks to her. For a while, I wondered what my 101 would be. Then I decided 1,001 would not be enough. There’s just so much in this world to be grateful for.

There’s a quote you’ve probably seen lately that I’ve thought about many times since Michelle’s lesson. Here it is:

I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to stop with the 101. That’s a good place to start, but I there are too many things to be grateful for that I don’t want to risk leaving even one of them out.

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About Kathryn H. Kidd

Kathryn H. Kidd has been writing fiction, nonfiction, and "anything for money" longer than most of her readers have even been alive. She has something to say on every topic, and the possibility that her opinions may be dead wrong has never stopped her from expressing them at every opportunity.

A native of New Orleans, Kathy grew up in Mandeville, Louisiana. She attended Brigham Young University as a generic Protestant, having left the Episcopal Church when she was eight because that church didn't believe what she did. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a BYU junior, finally overcoming her natural stubbornness because she wanted a patriarchal blessing and couldn't get one unless she was a member of the Church. She was baptized on a Saturday and received her patriarchal blessing two days later.

She married Clark L. Kidd, who appears in her columns as "Fluffy," more than thirty-five years ago. They are the authors of numerous LDS-related books, the most popular of which is A Convert's Guide to Mormon Life.

A former managing editor for Meridian Magazine, Kathy moderated a weekly column ("Circle of Sisters") for Meridian until she was derailed by illness in December of 2012. However, her biggest claim to fame is that she co-authored Lovelock with Orson Scott Card. Lovelock has been translated into Spanish and Polish, which would be a little more gratifying than it actually is if Kathy had been referred to by her real name and not "Kathryn Kerr" on the cover of the Polish version.

Kathy has her own website, www.planetkathy.com, where she hopes to get back to writing a weekday blog once she recovers from being dysfunctional. Her entries recount her adventures and misadventures with Fluffy, who heroically allows himself to be used as fodder for her columns at every possible opportunity.

Kathy spent seven years as a teacher of the Young Women in her ward, until she was recently released. She has not yet gotten used to interacting with the adults, and suspects it may take another seven years. A long-time home teacher with her husband, Clark, they have home taught the same family since 1988. The two of them have been temple workers since 1995, serving in the Washington D.C. Temple.

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