King Kong and the Gratitude Principle

October 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Connie Cavanaugh –

I walked into the chiropractor’s office for the first time last year. I had never been to a chiropractor because I didn’t think I needed one. I held off and held off not wanting to spend the money and finally one day my neck and back were in so much pain I was desperate.

I dragged myself into Dr. Kong’s office and waited dejectedly in the torture chamber. I had never met Dr. Kong even though he had been recommended to me. I was picturing a tiny diminutive Asian man who would gently palpate my boo-boos and say soothing words.

The door flew open and in charged a man who looked more like King Kong than Dr. Kong! He was well over six feet tall and his booming voice could bring down the walls of Jericho.

Before I even had a chance to tell him how sore I was he bellowed: “Tell me one good thing that happened to you today!”

He caught me with my mouth open. I was stunned. One good thing? The reason I was there was because I was in pain! And another bad thing was that it was costing me money! And he’s asking me for one good thing?

He waited, hands on hips like a Germanic conqueror from the Middle Ages.

Seriously! He really means this, I thought.

“Okay, here goes,” I said, hoping to buy some time. I really had to dig deep but finally I came up with something.

“The sun is shining.” Whew! Now maybe he’ll start gently massaging my sore neck.

“Great!” He hollered. “Tell me one more good thing.”

You’ve got to be kidding? It took me a few minutes to come up with one! Okay, maybe he’ll give me a gratitude discount or something if I play along so I tried again:

“My grandkids came over for tea and toast this morning in their PJs. I love having them live so close by.”

“How wonderful for you!” He shouted. “What’s one more?”

Good grief? When would this end? If I was paying him by the minute, he was racking up a bill without helping my problem!

Frustrated, I declared sarcastically:

“Only my neck and back hurt, the rest of me feels great.”

“Aaaahhhhh,” he said, more softly. “That’s wonderful that you feel so good other than this little problem with your neck and back. Let’s see what I can do to help you.”

He got me! I didn’t even realize it but when I walked in the door, I was drowning in self-pity, so focused on my sore neck and back. It was consuming me. I was already leafing through nursing home brochures, convinced I would be in a wheelchair before long and need a mechanical lift to go potty. Dr. Kong saw the look on my face and knew what I needed – a little gratitude to get me outside myself and open my eyes to all the blessings I still had.

Gratitude shifts your focus from what you’ve lost or what you lack to all the blessings you still have. Tom Brewster must understand this gratitude principle because he wrote a book entitled: ‪Only Paralyzed from the Neck Down‬. I haven’t read the book but what message does this title send? It tells me: My body doesn’t work but thank God I’ve still got a brain. I can think. I can smile. I can see. I can hear. I can laugh. I can kiss. I can smell. I can taste. Only paralyzed from the neck down. Gratitude changes everything.

About Connie Cavanaugh

Connie Cavanaugh is a speaker, humor columnist, and author of From Faking it to Finding Grace and Following God One Yes at a Time. She and her husband Gerry Taiilon live in Alberta, Canada with their kids and grandkids nearby. You can find out more at
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2 Responses to “King Kong and the Gratitude Principle”
  1. Dawn Wilson says:

    A wonderful post … made me appreciate what I have, not what’s “missing.” Thanks, Connie. Posting on Facebook and Twitter.

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