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Gratitude is essential

Alright, folks — it’s time to get thankful.

Seriously, we know this COVID-19 pandemic stinks, and so does our deep political divide. This chilly, wet, dim November weather can drag one’s mood down pretty low. And each of us has our own personal reasons to feel down and out: Maybe it’s family; maybe it’s health; maybe it’s finances; maybe it’s something else.

But enough self-pity already. Each of us has it very good in many, many ways, and if we can’t see that, we’re not looking very hard.

Most of us, though not all, have plenty of resources to get by on — enough that we can afford to share with those who have less.

Most of us, though not all, have family members who love us. They may not always do what we want them to, but they do care and do try — and God knows we wouldn’t want to be judges against a scale of perfection.

All of us live in a country that — while no more perfect than we are — still does a pretty good job of offering freedom while trying to keep people safe and secure. These days, COVID-19 restrictions make it feel less free than ever, but that really is temporary.

Great progress is being made in developing vaccines to protect people against COVID-19. Top scientists and pharmaceutical companies worldwide are working ferociously to save lives.

There are still plenty of good-hearted people out there, even if we don’t dare talk politics with them.

All of us have things we enjoy doing, whether it’s reading, cooking, music, playing video games or puttering around with house and yard projects.

Once we start looking for good things in our lives, we will certainly find them. And once we find them, we can appreciate them. Heck, this being Thanksgiving, we can bask in them.

Now is the time to count our blessings, accentuate the positive, think happy thoughts — all those things that some might consider corny or unrealistic, but which really are essential.

Gratitude is, some might say, the basis of human spirituality. It requires breaking out of our heads, our egos, our self-reflection and acknowledging what is outside ourselves, what benefits us — and without which we could not live. It gives us perspective and keeps us humble. For many of us, the gratitude extends to a higher being without whom these good people and bountiful planet would not exist. If you can’t get to that, we understand, although it might be worth thinking about a bit as you give thanks this holiday.

We may find ourselves with more time to think this Thanksgiving, since we’re not supposed to be gathering with people from other households –please don’t, by the way — or going around to see other people. But this year doesn’t take away all those good Thanksgivings we have enjoyed in the past. Let’s include those warm, wonderful memories as we count our blessings on this, possibly the most meaningful of holidays.

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