My thanksgiving message to a few close friends, and now to all of you.
Imagine 8 billion people giving thanks. Not thankful because of Pilgrims or victory in war. Just thankful for being alive. Sunrise. The sounds of children playing. A home. Loved ones. Life itself.
Let’s not refuse gratitude because of all that is going awry, or did in the past. We are not thankful for slavery, exploitation, domination, war, the unraveling of the fabric of life.
To refuse the upwelling of gratitude is to isolate from the power we have to express joy in the face of devastation. The gratitude makes us strong, proves we will not submit to whatever overlords have their hands on the wheel of power.
I’ve personally come through fury at failed leaders, feeding our lives into the maw of destruction. Now I am finding joy, gratitude, expectancy, creativity, and happiness.
(Cut to a cross stitch of the Serenity Prayer.)
It’s not giving up, though. Or sappy. Or a retreat into private privilege. This gratitude restores my sovereignty, dignity, and clear-eyed seeing. Gratitude makes me ready for what’s coming.
I am sure I won’t like the overdue earthquake or war skipping across the ocean from east or west. I won’t like stranger weather that may wither my garden or some climate tipping point that inundates coastlines. Gratitude is not liking.
Gratitude, in part, is receiving what YOU have given me. I honor your gift by turning it into something beautiful, crafted in the mind of my heart and the body of my existence.
Gratitude is taking my place among people like you, finding the courage to keep going, keep inventing and exhorting and creating and loving and serving.
It’s not just gratitude for good people, because who am I to say who is good.
When I meditate on the 8 billion humans now on this earth, the mere thought rips off my blinders, my presumptions of specialness. I just wish everyone well, wherever they are, whatever they value, whoever they are with, whatever they believe, whatever their past, however long they will live.
Thankful for you.