The holidays are here, the perfect opportunity for families and friends to share their time, thoughts and memories with one another. Thanksgiving, especially, is the ideal occasion to consider all there is to be grateful for, despite the stress, challenges and hardships of life in today’s chaotic world. It’s essential to do so because no matter how difficult one’s day-to-day routine may be, things could always be worse — which is really important to remember.Gratitude. It’s something too few people remember to express on a regular basis. It’s hard to find fault with anyone for that, because life is tough, especially these days. The economy has tanked, the job market is downright depressing, the mortgage crisis has yet to be resolved and people seem to be floundering in a world ripe with inequity, unrest and grief. It’s no wonder that so many walk through their lives restlessly, never thinking about that which they do have to be grateful for rather than that which they don’t have, for which they might be resentful and jaded. But, as so many are fond of saying, it’s important to look on the sunny side. No, that doesn’t mean reality should be forgotten or ignored — that would be unwise and prevent people from learning the life lessons they ought to. It simply means there are almost always pieces of one’s life that have something positive to offer. Those positive attributes should be appreciated and nurtured. They should be replicated, if possible, and shared. Positive thoughts and positive energy can bring about positive results — and giving thanks for what one has in his or her life is one very effective way to get there.So this Thanksgiving, take advantage of the traditional exercise so many share around the dinner table. It can be done anywhere — at the table, at one’s bedside, at an outdoor sanctuary, at a church or synagogue — wherever one feels comfortable to genuinely and freely express his or her appreciation for all things big or small. And don’t stop there. Continue the practice through the holidays and into the New Year. It will offer peace of mind and solace in a world that has become wound so tight it’s sometimes hard to think, no less clear one’s mind and focus on what’s truly important. Hopefully, after some thought, there may be more to appreciate than anyone could have ever imagined.