- Gratitude slaps fear in the face of fear and subdues it. For that reason alone, we must return Thanksgiving Day and Thanksgiving Week to their glory days as full-throated holidays. Not at all coincidentally, thought and conversation about the traditions of Thanksgiving and the reasons for it keep family discussions away from the rolling political disasters and crises that turn discussions into hyper- heated detours from which no one returns alive.
We all need a freaking break. And turning Black Friday into Death Race 2018 isn’t taking a break. Let’s pause long enough to actually remember we like our relatives, so long as we’re not playing Hot Topics truth or dare. Gratitude and inspiration breed hope, and fear takes them away. So, here’s a little dose of hope for the holidays.
2.In light of the California Camp fires and the Paradise Fire, we can be grateful that the relatives sitting around our Thanksgiving Table or celebrating with us from afar are still in our lives, still breathing air, annoying us, challenging us, inspiring us, and lifting us when we fall. To a large extent, they have formed us.
- There’s always another source of inspiration just around the corner. The world is full of unsung heroes quietly living their lives, forming a protective circle around us. Of course, we’re so thankful for the first responders in the news today, who keep us safe in ways of which we are only marginally aware. The fact that these people exist in the world, who’ve run into the fire, the flood, the dissolving buildings, is nothing short of a miracle. But, each of our lives is also populated with people who help us and give us the love and courage to be exactly who we are. For every image that inspires fear, there are many more people that inspire faith, courage, and admiration.
4.If we have a roof over our heads, a warm bed to sleep in, a fridge full of food, clean water to bathe with and drink, and clean air to breathe, we’re not only better off than two thirds of the world, we’re better off than cities and counties of the United States of America.This one gets cited often during the holidays, because every day proves its truth.
5.And then there’s holiday fatigue. We can be thankful that we have the right and the means to veg out and take a break, when we need to. There is nothing wrong with a well-timed retreat, if it provides an escape from the sad, abandoned pets on TV, the ubiquitous Michael Buble’ Christmas CD, the Will Mariah or won’t Mariah have a New Year’s Eve Meltdown? quandary, the frantic trip to the frantic mall with the frantic minions spraying frantic fragrance in our frantic faces, as we frantically check items off our frantic Christmas lists, and prepare to fight with other frantic shoppers in the parking lot!
- Art, music, movies, painting, poetry, travel, and each other can all be the difference in a life. A movie, a song, a sonnet, a book, or a trip can live in us like a joyful virus for weeks and months, keeping us strong, and then we get to pass it on! We pass it on by inviting others to enjoy what we enjoy, through groups, retreats, clubs, blogs, videos. Or we can create these inspirational art forms ourselves, if we’re so inclined. We can join with other creatives like ourselves and collaborate. These things and so many others ignite the spark of joy within us. We get to be the neurotransmitters of joy! What could be better than that? These joy- starters are always there, as long as we can see, hear, and move.
- We can be thankful for the struggle, for it’s only the struggle that teaches courage, perseverance, when to shut up and listen, when to speak up, and the common sense to know we don’t know enough yet or that more action is required. This year, the struggle has made us bulletproof and bionic.
- A late bloomer still blooms. All we need is a pause and a reboot.
- Finally, I’m grateful for the fact that God brought each of you into my life, as a continual source of inspiration.
- Oh, and coffee!
Without the wonderful aroma, the beautiful-bitter taste and the sizable jolt it provides, we’d never make it out of bed to ponder the imponderables, journey towards purpose, or write or communicate anything intelligible to anyone. Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks to each and every one of you for everything you add to my life.
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