To Show My Appreciation
I'm thinking Thanksgiving must be the hippest holiday around for the mind/body/wellness/health/personal development community- an entire day based on #gratitude and feeling #blessed. In all seriousness, it's worth noting that we're not reinventing the wheel here with this stuff. Gratitude, giving thanks, feeling grateful- the worth of this concept has been recognized for an awfully long time. "Let us give thanks and praise." The phrase is etched into my brain from attending to Mass as a little girl- and there is no institution so skilled as the Catholic Church at keeping old traditions alive. Yet on this Thanksgiving morning, my thoughts are drifting not to days gone by, but across the Atlantic, to more recent events. I haven't posted any thoughts about Paris. I haven't been sure what to say. It's been good for me to listen for a while instead. I grieve with the people of France for the tragic loss of life there. But that sentiment didn't feel like enough to me (and probably this kind of sorrow always bring with it a sense of inadequacy). Today, I hope I have something to offer worth saying. Gratitude is a powerful tool, this I know. It's often used to shift perspective on a situation that feels hopeless, unfair, disempowering, and inexplicable on a cosmic level. On this Thursday, I am grateful. I'm grateful for the millions of people in this world who respect each other's intrinsic humanity. I'm grateful for the New Yorkers who get on the subway (albeit sometimes with a bare minimum of courtesy) and ride the train together every day, hundreds of times a day, without incident. I'm grateful for cars that stop at crosswalks, and orderly lines at the post office, and people who make time to give directions to tourists in the streets. I'm grateful for people who are kind to their families, or their friends, or the random strangers they encounter in the grocery store. I'm grateful for people who choose love instead of fear- even if they wouldn't put it in those terms- every single day. Acknowledging when something has gone wrong, when our contracts with each other have been broken, is right. But appreciating the many, many things that go right- that's right too. I'm so thankful for you.