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In the news recently, a football fan wearing her team’s jersey was being given the game ball by one of her favorite players. Before she got hold of it fully, a fan of the other team swiped the ball right out of her hands. The video went viral and social media lit up in outrage.

And here in New Jersey, a man’s family home is being taken from him by the government under eminent domain. Even though almost half of the casinos in Atlantic City have folded over the past months, the city plans to use his property for casino area re-development.

These are just a couple of examples of people trying to take what isn’t theirs. It happens in life, and often, all we can do is shake our heads. We’ve all been there.

Others may try to:

□ Steal your joy

□ Shake your faith

□ Give you grief

There should be a term for that. It’s the opposite of having an “Attitude of Gratitude.”

Maybe we could call that a “Plateful of Ungrateful.”

Or a “Bad Case of Buzzkill.”

No matter what you call it, the important thing is to inoculate yourself against this type of infectious ingratitude.

With the holidays coming up, I know we’ve all got a relative or two with this sort of affliction. Make your own psyche as precious to you as your child’s or your spouse’s. If grumpy Aunt Martha was trying to bring your loved one down, you’d most likely intervene. Do that for yourself as well. Suddenly remember you wanted to check the weather for tomorrow and leave the room. Or go help grandma in the kitchen if your brother-in-law starts you steaming like a latté, talking about politics and disparaging your religion.

I’m giving thanks this year that I’ve made the commitment to safeguard my own mind when faced with the Soul-Drainers of life. Don’t stand idly by when they come at you, fangs drawn. Put them on notice: find other prey, Psyche-Suckers! Take your hat and your bad day with you when you leave. And please back away from the pumpkin pie. I already have dibs.

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