Thankful for much and hoping for more

It is a sad state of affairs that it seems like a day doesn’t go by that there isn’t a shooting, drug overdose, terrorist attack, weather event, domestic violence incident or a sexual harassment accusation. It is happening with such frequency that it is hard to keep track of them all. It can be so overwhelming, paralyzing and difficult for our minds to digest it all. How do we stop this madness? Where do we even begin?

These topics will most likely be part of the discussions around the dinner table during Thanksgiving. While many might say, “Why ruin a nice time talking about such doom and gloom with family and friends?” it can also help. It makes us feel a common bond to discuss the state of the world with those close to us: to express ourselves, understand humanity and seek solutions.

Some of us might prefer to make the holiday a respite, to have peace and relaxation from the outside world. Whether you decide to engage in the issues or engage in enjoying pumpkin pie, we hope both will be restorative. These times lead us all to be even more thankful for the lives we have on this special day. It is a time to pause and reflect how blessed we are to have so much more than the majority of the world dealing with starvation, war, oppression and violence.

Hopefully, after the holiday weekend, we will all be rested and reactivated to deal with whatever comes our way. If tomorrow we wake up to find dark clouds moving in on us, we must muster the strength and determination to tackle the challenges. We must fill our hearts and prayers with encouragement and inspiration, and show respect and empathy toward those living with these issues. Let’s put our cellphones down and take action to make things better, and hope others will do the same.

Most of all, we must have faith that next Thanksgiving will be better and we will have even more for which to be thankful. We need to do a better job year-round to make it a better world. Here’s to the start of the holiday season that never ends but continues year-round with faith, hope and charity.

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