Point of View Columns

A Holiday Message for 2012

The end of every year is a time for reflection and hope. We remember the good and the bad and cannot forget the ugly. But we also find a way to dust off a polish our hopes while finding the time to create new ones for our children, our friends, our planet and ourselves. It should go without saying that every day gives us a reason to be thankful so it is no wonder that every year gives us many reasons to be thankful.

We can be thankful for the loved ones who are still with us as 2013 prepares to come knocking at our door. We are certainly thankful that the random tragedies that have struck so many around this world may have left someone about whom we care untouched.

And while we grieve the loss of friends and family we must remember that death, like birth, is part of the natural order of life and this Universe. And the silver lining on the cloud of our sadness must be the appreciation of the month, year, decade or lifetime that we were blessed to spend with someone special who has now transitioned.

We can be thankful that the future offers all of us an opportunity to be better and to do better. If tomorrow always offers the possibility of greatness, then next year clearly holds the key to wonders that we cannot even imagine this year.

If we are able to, we can be thankful that we can recall all of the unexpected pleasures that have been bestowed upon us during the past year. The smile of a child through the window of a passing bus that brightened a day that needs brightening is certainly a cause for giving thanks. The appreciative gaze of an elder upon witnessing an act of kindness should certainly give us pause and cause us to give thanks.

There is not a day that goes past without tragedy and sadness and the acid drip of despair that seems to threaten our very spirit. But that spirit has seemingly infinite resilience and a capacity to believe in dreams that have yet to be dreamt. And still we expect the light of a smile to come into our lives even when there is darkness all around. And for that we all must be very thankful.

During this holiday season the festive moments have always been tinged with the sadness of remembered tragedies – global, national and personal. Perhaps this year there is even more sadness because, while we have always sheltered sadness in a corner of our hearts, we now know of so much sadness seemingly everywhere, all time.

And it is for that reason that we should make a concerted effort to count our blessings, to treasure our blessings and to never forget our blessings. Waking up today is not a right but a gift. The health of your child, the remembered love of a parent – these are all gifts for which we must remember to be thankful or run the risk of having ingratitude collapse upon us.

The meals that we may eat, the shelter that we may enjoy, the capacity that we may have to help someone in need, the love that we receive and the love that we share – these are more than reasons to be thankful. These are commandments to be thankful.

Happy Holidays and all the best to you and your family and to all whom you love.

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