If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it. ~~Lyndon B. Johnson
Before we’re swept away on the sea of family, football, and food that we face tomorrow, I want to share a few thoughts with you.
First, I’m grateful you found my blog & take the time to read it.
If you don’t visit, I wrote this for nobody.
So, Thank You.
Second, I’m grateful for the Bad Things that happened in my life. If those Bad Things had never happened, I probably wouldn’t appreciate as much…
I would be somewhere else right now.
I would have made different choices that led me away from all the miracles I’ve found.
Anyone who has survived Bad Things knows what I’m talking about.
Most of all, I’m thankful for all the amazing miracles in my life.
Being cancer-free for a year is amazing.
My beautiful granddaughters are genuine miracles.
And that’s just the highlights.
The magic of gratitude is that it lights a fire in you to express it. To show it.
Half the fun of gratitude is finding fun & fancy ways to show others how much we appreciate them…how much they mean to us.
However you spend this Thanksgiving Day, whether you celebrate it or not, may you encounter abundant gratitude.
27 Nov 2013 6 Comments
24 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.
~~Henry Ward Beecher
Thanksgiving has always been a solemn (yet joyful) holiday to me. Everyone dressed in their “Sunday Best”…family from far & near gathered around a table loaded with the most delicious food, served on the best dishes in the house… commemorating our collective historic past as Americans who survived the trials of settling the new world, pioneering the new frontier, and creating a whole new way of life.
Of course, Thanksgiving represented the family’s survival of another year of trials, tribulations, and embarrassing moments that become family stories to be shared at holiday get-togethers. One year, my cousins, my brothers, & I put together a talent show to entertain the adults. We didn’t see each other often, so we always made our visits memorable!
Even though it’s not a “religious” holiday, Thanksgiving has always been a little sacred in my life. It was profound enough to bring family together, despite their differences. The stories of people of different backgrounds sharing their resources, skills, and trust inspired me to see the world around me in the same way. It was an echo of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream, which I also held as sacred.
Gratitude is the basis of the tradition of Thanksgiving. That may seem to go without saying, but consider it again. Gratitude. Being thankful for the abundance provided in life~~through nature, through our relationships, through the grace of the God of our understanding~~these were the reasons for the legendary First Thanksgiving.
Of course, we’ve all been instructed that the story of the First Thanksgiving is a fiction concocted to conceal from impressionable young minds the brutal realities faced by the early settlers of the Colonies. Even so, the story established an ideal of what it means to be “American.” Americans value community, share, and are thankful. Americans can learn from others, even those who are different from themselves. These simple lessons resound in the 21st Century.
In what ways do you see gratitude, community, sharing, and cooperation in the world around you?
In what ways do you practice these principles in your life?
How do these principles inform your life as you enter the season of Giving?
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section, or post a link to your blog about it!
17 Sep 2013 6 Comments
Compassion Games 2013 is under way and the world is a sweeter place for it. I’m playing on behalf of the Melrose neighborhood of Oakland, California. Around the globe, groups and individuals are competing to earn their hometown the title of Compassionate City.
Well, not exactly “competing.” They’re calling it a “coopetition,” cooperative competition to achieve a noble goal. You don’t have to be part of a group to participate in the Compassion Games… you can check it out and sign up here. It’s free, it’s fun, and you’ll being doing nice things. That’s what the games are all about!
As a Secret Agent, you will accomplish vital missions of generosity, kindness, gratitude… like the operative who secretly gifted a postal carrier with a care package of beverage mixes, or the Kindness Web spun by a bi-coastal family. Your effectiveness is limited only by your imagination.
Of course, this kindness spree is not limited to the Games. Art Abandonment is an on-going movement of artists who create (and abandon) artwork around the world. Art is Moving recently hosted Art Break Day 2013, providing a day of free art-making in 19 cities around the world. Rumor has it that Secret Agents are using art in their campaign of compassion. Such actions will certainly cause ripples of goodwill to reach every metropolis, town, and hamlet!
The WMD (Weapon of Mass Delight) in this Compassion Revolution is the World Gratitude Day Story Contest hosted by “relentlessly positive” Alexandra Franzen. The rules are simple: find a fun & fancy way to thank someone. Write a story about what you did & how it went. Post it here. Everyone wins. Mega-delight.
I’d like to thank Ms. Franzen, not just for this contest, but for her missives that sparkle with encouragement and inspiration, and for the motive & opportunity to share the ways that we can make a difference wherever we are. Saying “thank you” is just the beginning. I’m taking my place in the Revolution.
Will you join us?
P. S. ~~ my little act of gratitude is just one of the 21 featured on Alexandra Franzen’s World Gratitude Day post. Over 130 people took the time to do something nice for someone else & share it. Thank you again, Ms. Franzen. This equinox weekend is overflowing with blessings!