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  • mariokiefer

Today, I am grateful.

Some out there would scream and shout, “This should not be a day of thanks giving! It should be day of mourning and remembrance!”

To those I say, “I feel sorry for you.”

And I truly do. You see, today is the one day of the year that we, collectively, have set aside to give thanks for all the blessings we have in our lives. It doesn’t really matter what the genesis of this day is. What matters is what it is meant to be. It’s one day; one short, little day when we are meant to come together to remember all of the good in our lives; to be thankful for those things that we have; to find hope for what we have not; and to forgive and love each other. It is a day when we are meant to set aside our differences; to put away our petty squabbles; and to remember that we are each and every one of us human beings; to remember that we each have something for which to be grateful — even when we cannot see it.

I know — that can be difficult. These are troubling times and our problems seem insurmountable: runaway inflation; government overreach and gridlock; protests turned to riots, uncontrolled crime and violence, and anger and hatred that fills the airwaves overflowing into everyday life. There are so many out there thumping their chests and yelling at the top of their lungs such that it almost drowns out all of the good that still exists.

To the chest thumpers I say, “Stop. Breathe. Take a moment. Take a day; one day to put aside your anger and resentment and find peace with those you disagree; to find peace within yourself. Stop and be thankful for what you have.”

So, I give thanks on this Thanksgiving Day. I give thanks for the love that I feel for my family and friends and for the love they give in return. I am thankful that I still rise each morning to the warmth of the sun’s rays caressing my face. (There was a time not all that long ago when I did not think that would continue to happen.) And, yes, I am even thankful for the things that annoy and vex me because in that annoyance and vexation there remains something good to be found.

On this day, I send up my prayers of thanks and couple that with prayers of hope. I hope that those who would rather cry out on this day can find something for which to be grateful. And as to those who cannot, still, I am even thankful for them. Because the anger they put out reminds me that there is a always better way.

I will not mourn today, but I will remember. And, I will give thanks.

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