Giving Thanks

Here in the U.S., we celebrate Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, a national holiday that expresses a notion from way back in our history as a nation, an acknowledgment that we Americans are indeed fortunate and blessed. In today's world of war, hatred, greed, misery, and poverty, it is a message that all people need, and one that is sorely in need of revitalization.

The courageous people who boarded ships and fled religious oppression in the Old World, and the indigenous people they met in the New World, both recognized that there is more to this life than what our eyes perceive, that there is a higher power that created us and gave us everything in the world, and that we are the stewards of those gifts, responsible for their wise use and accountable for our actions.

So I want to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for all that I have received, especially for my loving wife and sons, for my friends and family, for my health, for this great country in which I live, for its freedoms, and for what it aspires to be in the world.

I am thankful for the many people I have met in my journey thus far, who have taught me, shaped me, fed me, healed me, and supported me. We don't go through this life alone, though there are times when we feel lonely.

We are at our best when we are connected to others, when we are in community, when we are in touch with the hearts and souls of others.

My mother used to say, "Life is what you make it." I'm thankful for her wisdom and I have tried to live by those words. To me, she was an archetypal American mother. She taught me some essentially American values, in particular self-empowerment and self-determination.

The great leader Gandhi once said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." I'm thankful for this wisdom as it has helped form me, particularly as a parent, and as a facilitator.

For these and all the blessings I have received, I gratefully say, Thanks.

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