Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Of all of the holidays, none is more special to me than Thanksgiving.  Sharing the bounty of the land with loved ones is a act of great love.  I believe that cooks are the ultimate alchemists--transforming one thing into quite another.  While we rely on stocks and broths to enrich our foods, those key elements were really nothing more than eking out the last bit of goodness from vegetables and bones.

Certainly any reading this is far divorced from a marginal existence; however, life on the edge is about getting enough air, nutrition and water to support life systems. Too many in this world live life at the margin.  I often read in the blogosphere about how unfair the markets are and 'if only this, that, the other.'   I find such lamentations surprising.  As much as we would like to wish for life to be fair, it most certainly is not.  Nevertheless, as individuals, we can be agents of equal opportunity 'fairness' on a unit to unit basis.  A unit can be a person, place or thing:  children, rainforests, animals, elderly or any of the other 'units' lacking needful things.

Thanksgiving is the holiday of gratitude.  I believe that a grateful heart is a great, full heart.  A grateful heart does not need things.  Rather, a great, full heart has natural abundance, and within that bounty is generally a singular passion: to share that bounty with others.   So much of the media, particularly the financial media, sputters with 'news' about how wrong things are.  If our bodies are made of what we eat, then surely our minds are made of what we read, see and hear.  The duty of 'fair and balanced' is not so much on what an outlet reports to you (after all they are still just trying to fill and sell advertising space), but rather YOUR acquisition and processing of it.  I'm seeing a surprising amount of stuff so slanted and so oft-quoted (think of your favorite fear mongering site) that it seems to be taken at face value without so much of a whiff of discernment.

I still remember well my conversation with David, the frail, elderly, sharp-as-a-tack man that I met on my way to Las Vegas.  Though physically fragile, he was passionate about staying engaged in things that interested him--investing being one of those things.  (He was on the way to the Money Show!).  I asked about the health of his wife.  He said this to me, and it still resonates today:  "I focus on the things that I still can do; my wife focuses on the things that she cannot do."

You think that I've run off the road and I'm in the weeds again, don't you?  I'm meandering back to the path!  My Thanksgiving wish for you is to embrace the notion of a grateful heart, and the bounty of a great, full heart.  My wish for you is to delight in the sharing of that bounty with others.  While it is is easy to focus on the bad--they do provide good 'stories', there is much to celebrate in this world and in the work of people interested in meaningful change.  Seek out that balance of what is right in the world lest your heart and head become poisoned from the assault of what is wrong with the world.

Though we may feel powerless to change the ills of the world, we most certainly have the power to touch another consciousness in this life.  That touch can alleviate hunger, isolation, fear, or physical discomfort--and it significantly changes the world for that recipient.  Our Thanksgiving table, then, is a way for us to both celebrate and share.  It is a time to reflect, too, on how we can extend the boundaries of that sharing in these times of great need.

My best to you on this important day.