What makes this Thanksgiving special?
At the end of a long and difficult campaign, some might think that it would be my winning the race for local political office. And while I am thankful for this win, gratitude takes a different form today. First, I am mindful that many good people worked so hard to make it happen and that other good people who worked hard for the other side have been disappointed. My gratitude is for all the hope and effort and energy that went into this race… from both sides. For my part, I ran to serve my community, so I am thankful that the majority of my fellow citizens have seen fit to grant me that opportunity. No doubt I will need to work hard to earn it. For whatever reason, I feel called to do this right now, and to know that I am working on something noble, and much bigger than myself, and to be engaged in a process of transformation and courage and humility… well, that is something, isn’t it? Humbing and hopeful.
Victory in this race was dampened by the fact that I lost a dear friend and colleague to cancer partway through. And now this week brings news that someone close to me is facing her own brave journey where the outcome has yet to be written. So today, I am mindful that each day, each hour, that passes is a gift. I am filled with gratitude for the time we have been given, and a special love, for friendship, and an admiration of the courage one must have to take on such a difficult illness.
We are an insane people. These illnesses that we biopsy and irradiate and remove (and often to which we succumb) are but a symptom of a greater problem–many are awakening to the insanity with a chilling realization that we have taken for granted the most basic of gifts: clean water, wholesome food, and a world that accepts and tranforms the waste we create. This path we are on leads to ruin: we will consume ourselves… soon enough, I suppose, unless we choose not to.
The heart of our problem may well be a lack of gratitude.
So today, let’s give thanks for the miracle of our own lives, of the life around us and the precious gifts that allow us to be. For friendship and love and for all those who bear the painful burden of our excess, and for the simple gifts that mean so much and were given to so many of us for free: health and sunshine and love among them, and (of course) life–which is so very very fragile. Perhaps our love and gratitude will help us create a new way forward.