This has been a difficult year for many of us. Business is challenging, some have lost our jobs, there has been economic turmoil worldwide, war is continuing in Afghanistan and Iraq, the planet seems a mess. If you are a “glass half empty person” you could stop right here and sigh. Another Thanksgiving, and for what?
But when I look back on past Thanksgivings, remember that I could have written that first sentence on virtually every one. Yet we survived, we prospered, business picked up, new jobs were found, recessions ended, and wars ebbed and flowed, as they have for millennia.
I could list all the platitudes like “when one door closes, another opens,” and “it’s always darkest before the dawn” but they don’t help a bit. What might help is to consider that we, as individuals, have the power to succeed and to correct problems in our lives. We may choose to do so, or we may choose not to.
If we are sick, we could choose to change the way we eat, drink, recreate, or exercise. If we are without a job, we could decide to find another, maybe not as grand as the one we left, but one where we can honestly earn our way. If we have overspent, we can choose to move to a less grand home, or put off that new car for another year. If we are having problems in our relationships, we can choose to separate ourselves from those that bring us down, and perhaps allow a little space and time to help smooth rough edges and show our true feelings.
The key to all this is choice. We can choose to be angry, or filled with hate, or we can choose to focus on our own lives and our families. If we are alone we can choose to join a group, or a church, or synagogue. We can choose to walk our dog and meet neighbors and make new friends. Or we can choose not to do so.
So many places on earth people have no choices. They main concern is whether they will eat tomorrow, or have a roof over their heads. Will a bomb fall, or the secret police come, or disease strike. They have no choice.
As you sit around the Thanksgiving feast this year, whether its turkey with all the trimmings, or a big Mac and fries, consider the choices you made that put you where you are, and give thanks that you have the time and personal ability to make new ones to change your future. You can, if you choose to do so.
If you are a “half empty” person, you probably will not. If your glass is half full, you will continue to lead a wonderful life.