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Common gives thanks — even when things don’t go his way

Commhugs fan screening his independent film “LUV' Sept. 10 2012. | Ramzi Dreessen~Sun-Times

Common hugs a fan at the screening of his independent film “LUV" on Sept. 10, 2012. | Ramzi Dreessen~Sun-Times

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Updated: December 20, 2012 6:14AM

The dictionary defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful ­— readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. I try to show gratitude every day. I’m thankful for my family, my friends and for all the experiences I’ve had throughout my career.

You always hear, “Be grateful for what you have.” In fact one of my favorite gospel songs, “Be Grateful,” says, “Be grateful for what you have because there’s someone else who’d love to be in your shoes.” I agree, but to be honest, sometimes that’s much easier said than done.

I remember a time I really struggled with showing gratitude. It was after I had been cast as the Green Lantern in the movie rendition of “Justice League.” (I know that sounds bad, but hold on, there’s more.) We were all set to go. We had even tried on our wardrobe. I was ready! I was imagining what this could not only mean for me but also for the kids who would see me as a bona fide superhero! Plus, my phone was already ringing off the hook with requests for meetings from big-time directors and producers. It was about to be on…

And then it happened — the writers’ strike. Everything was on hold and after the strike, executives pulled the plug on the production. I was deflated. What I thought was the biggest role in my life was gone — just like that. I moped around for a few days when finally my mom told me to “get over it” and go speak to an organization that helped kids with much bigger problems than mine. It was during my talk with those young people that I had to take stock in what I had and return to being thankful for everything.

It has been a few years since that happened and now that I’ve been on the acting side for a while, I’ve seen deals that don’t always work out. I think back on the Green Lantern experience and it reminds me that at the end of the day, the things that really matter — my family, my friends, my team and my health — have all remained. For that, I express my deepest gratitude.

Common donated his fee for this column to the Common Ground Foundation,

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