I highly recommend listening to this week’s EconTalk podcast with guest A.J. Jacobs.
He and host, Russ Roberts, discuss Jacobs’ new book, Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey.
The book is about Jacobs’ experiences in attempting to thank all the folks who make his morning cup of coffee possible.
He starts at his favorite coffee shop and works back to thank the folks who deliver the coffee to the store, roast it, keep the store pest free, grow the coffee and even the folks that create the safe drinking water that makes up over 98% of his morning joe, to name a few.
The book is another take on the economic classic essay, I, Pencil, which explores the amazing coordination among large numbers of people who make something as mundane as pencils.
At the end of the podcast, Jacobs recommends being as creative as possible this Thanksgiving when considering what you are grateful for.
I, for one, am thankful for the price system, which enables the coordination among billions of folks and encourages them to make things that improve my life, like pencils and coffee.
Another good bit of advice that Roberts and Jacobs discuss is looking for the good. Russ recalled a bumper sticker, “Wag more. Bark less.”
Jacobs said he finds he has an inner Larry David and inner Mr. Rogers. Larry David looks for things to be annoyed about it. Mr. Rogers looks for things to be happy about and grateful for. He tries to encourage the inner Mr. Rogers more and good things happen.