Something To Be Thankful For
This last year has presented a more significant set of challenges than most of us expected. Who among us hasn’t lost a friend, coworker, client, or job in 2020. The news is filled with misery and dissatisfaction at a level that even the older generations are unfamiliar with. What do you have to be thankful for, you ask?
Here is something to think about. While it is easy to find yourself feeling downright desperate, there are other ways to look at it. In the middle of the financial crisis, Henry Rollins (a musician and artist) managed to express being human in similar circumstances:
“People are getting a little desperate. People might not show their best elements to you. You must never lower yourself to being a person you don’t like. There is no better time than now to have a moral and civic backbone. To have a moral and civic true north. This is a tremendous opportunity for you, a young person, to be heroic.”
When you say, “I’m young,” “I didn’t cause this,” “it ain’t my fault, “… “I got screwed,”; that only makes it easier for you to lose your perspective. It is only a short jump from those thoughts to “I don’t care,” or I don’t care about them… or I have to get my slice of the pie before it is all gone. In short, it is easy to lose yourself.
I am not asking you to become a martyr this Thanksgiving. I am saying, though, when you focus on other people, when you focus on helping others, or just living as an example, your own personal fears will diminish. Your anxiety or problem will no longer be your primary concern… you just won’t find the time for it. Sharing a purpose gives us all strength.
Sometimes when you are stuck with one of those unsolvable problems, the solution is to ask yourself, “If I cant solve this problem for me, how can I at least make it better for the other person?” If you assume that there is nothing you can do for yourself, what can you do for someone else? How can I, or we, use this situation to help other people? Is there a way to save any good in this situation?
You will be shocked at how quickly the hopelessness goes away when you quit making it all about you and instead make it about others.
Now you have something to do.
Thank your friend… your neighbor, or coworker. We are all in this together, and even though none of us can carry the load alone, it isn’t hard to try and pick up one end. Help other people, be of service. Help by helping. You become better for it and draw purpose from it.
Toughness has limits… Pride goes… Beauty fades. But the desire to help? No work, harshness, or shortage should interfere with your empathy for other people. Compassion is always an option. So is being thankful.
Embrace this power. Embrace the sense of being part of a larger community. It’s an exciting thing to think about it, isn’t it? We are all just humans trying to survive, and we are all doing the best we can and, in the process, move forward.
This Thanksgiving, help your fellow human beings survive and thrive. Contribute a little to this great universe of people before it swallows you. Be thankful that you can. Help the people around you, being strong for them. It will make you stronger, and being able to be stronger is something to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.