In the United States, we are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving. For many of us, the story we grew up on–the story of the shared feast between the Native Americans and the English colonists–has turned out to not be accurate. (Here’s a Native American perspective…one of several I found.)
However, the concept of expressing thankfulness and gratefulness is still a valid one–especially today.
So…what are you thankful for?
I’m thankful for family–biological family, but also “chosen” family…those who have become close through a variety of connections.
I’m thankful for the experiences I have had of sharing with individuals in and from different cultures and religious traditions. They have caused me to reflect on the wonderful diversity in our world–and how much that diversity has enriched us. They have also reminded me of how much we don’t know!
I’m thankful for books! They provide magic carpets to places I could not otherwise visit. They help me learn new information. They provide escape when I need it…and challenge when I am ready for it.
I’m thankful for music. It feeds my soul…and sometimes allows me to pray when I do not have the words to do so.
I’m thankful for pets who give unconditional love.
I’m thankful for those I agree with…and those I don’t. Those who support and affirm me help give me confidence–and those I disagree with challenge me to really think about what I believe and help me articulate it more clearly. They even sometimes cause me to change my mind or…at the least…look for those places where we can find common ground.
I am thankful to have a home to live in and enough food to eat. I realize how blessed I am to not have to worry daily whether I will have enough…or whether I (or family members) will be victims of violence.
I am thankful for those who have walked with me on my spiritual journey. Some have been members of my own faith tradition…others have shared from their perspectives. I have learned much from each of them–including how difficult it is for us finite human beings to understand the Divine Infinity. And I have been thankful for those who have walked with me through the dark nights of the soul, offering me care and hope, even when I didn’t see it.
Most of all I’m thankful for life, even with its various health problems and challenges. Each day brings new hope…new opportunities…new lessons…new visions.
What are you thankful for this year?