Despite all the tension and trouble in the world, I am really hoping that my American community members can pause and find reasons to be thankful on Thursday. I pray you can set aside differences, rest your minds from turmoil, and enjoy... really enjoy... your family for the day.
Yes, it is difficult in this current political climate.
Yes, it is difficult as we are bombarded with negativity.
Yes, it is difficult as we continue to see the way the native Americans are being treated by the government.
Yes, it is difficult as we are faced with racism and prejudices of all sorts.
Yes, it is difficult.
But I, for one, while not "burying my head in the sand" as some would accuse me of, am choosing gratitude. Thankfulness. Joy, even.
I am going to try to do my best to encourage, lift up, and bless those around me -- family, friends, and even strangers. It's all I can do, really, to influence change in this difficult (there's that word again) climate.
Does that mean I'm getting along with everyone and spreading only sunshine? Of course not. There are some, including family members, who I've chosen to walk away from simply because I no longer will tolerate their negativity and drama. Sometimes that's the best thing we can do for our own sake and the sake of remaining family members, especially the children.
I encourage you to seek the higher ground. To find joy amidst difficulty and sorrow. To be thankful, truly thankful, for the blessings around you. They are bountiful, even if you don't acknowledge them. Be grateful. Be loving. And be well, my friends.
I leave you with the wise and gentle words of Max Ehrmann in his piece, Desiderata:
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
* * *