Thanksgiving and Gratefulness

Thanksgiving is that special time of year where we focus a bit more on being grateful for all that we have, and for giving thanks for our many blessings.

So far, this year has been a difficult one, on many levels. When listening to the news media gratefulness can easily be replaced by shock, horror, and more questions than you’ll ever get satisfactory answers to.

Many will gather with family and/or friends to celebrate a generous meal together.  Conversations will take many different directions. Yet, the news of the day will often surface. And, it can really dampen a festive occasion.

Talk can swiftly move into blaming and shaming, pointing fingers, disrespectfully arguing points of view, or even shutting down emotionally. Exactly the sort of things we are seeing on the news. These can be difficult conversation, however you can learn how to discuss your views more effectively. Stop. Think. Open your mind.

We live in a time of great upheaval. The relevance, pain and uncertainly of these times and what we are being exposed to can cause a great deal of division and upset.

Many people are asking what is there to be grateful for? What can they possibly do to stop the carnage and wrongful ideology that seems to permeate our newscasts and, indeed, our societies and even our homes.

Horrendous news reports have been coming at us since the dawn of time. And, the reality is that tragedy and trauma have been happening in our world since humans first walked the earth. Today, you simply get it all – too much of it – at warp speed. It comes at you relentlessly – unless you choose to shut down your devices.

How many times do you need to expose yourself to something you cannot do anything about immediately?  How much time do you need to devote to the feelings of sadness, depression, horror and helplessness that terrible news reports generate within you? If you are a news addict, you may want to consider therapy or coaching.

Now, more than ever, each of us can set aside a pocket of time to commit to expanding our own awareness of what every single one of us could do to bring about healthier changes in ourselves, our homes, and in our world.

Helplessness is not a good feeling. Many of us want to do something to creative positive change, but don’t always know how to begin. Start with small steps. That is how powerful and lasting change takes root. When we continue to do the small yet meaningful things every day that create good there will come a ‘tipping point’. That will be where goodness and civility will once again take hold and provide some stability to our everyday lives.

Some things we can choose to do every day might be:

  • Offering a kind word or gesture to someone we normally ignore or don’t warm up to;
  • Donate to causes that are on the front-lines helping;
  • Devote time to your own self-care and de-stressing from the day’s activities and news.

Be kind and courageous – turn off all your devices when you sit down with others to give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving, to everyone here in Canada and ex-pats around the world!

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