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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Be Thankful and Be Happy

As Thanksgiving 2014 approaches, let us pause amidst the rush and stress of our daily lives to reflect on the many blessings we have. Life may not be as good as we would hope, we may have personal, family, health or financial struggles, but always remember that there are millions of people in this country and around the world who are so much worse off than we are.

Life often isn't easy, and it often isn't fair. Dreams don't always come true. But rather than focusing on what we don't have, on our problems and struggles, let's focus on what we do have.
  • Do you have a safe, warm place to live? Many don't. Imagine living on the streets in all kinds of weather.
  • Do you have food in your pantry? Many struggle to put food on the table. This is especially true in New Mexico, where I live. This state ranks first in the number of children who don't get enough to eat. It ranks second in the number of senior citizens who struggle to get food. That is an appalling statistic.
  • Do you have warm clothes for the winter? Many face the cold weather without adequate coats, hats, gloves and shoes.
  • Are you healthy? Not everybody enjoys good health. If your health is good, count your blessings. Many struggle with health problems. And many struggle to pay for needed medications, or have inadequate or no medical insurance.
  • Do you have a job, whether it pays well or not, even if you don't like it? Many have lost their jobs and struggle to make ends meet. Some have searched for employment for so long that they have given up.
  • Do you have friends or family? Many, particularly the elderly, suffer from loneliness and isolation.
This time of year is challenging for a lot of people. Daylight is short, temperatures cold, and there is the ever-present pressure to have a perfect holiday gathering and to find 'the perfect gift.'  It's sometimes difficult to focus on our blessings. So let us make a real effort to appreciate all we have, to reach out to those less fortunate than we are, and to be happy whatever our circumstances. As the saying goes, "It isn't having what you want. It's wanting what you have."

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.