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Start with what you have

Nov 27, 2019 Steven R. Peck, Publisher

When asked, on the occasion of Thanksgiving Day, what we are thankful for, our responses might tend to run to the predictable, the conformist and the rote.

But thankfulness ought never to become a trite cliche. Unique among the world's species is our ability to conceive of thankfulness, along with both our willingness and desire to express it.

But thanks for what? For some the answer to that question comes easily. Others will find it more difficult.

Perhaps they are ill or injured, or in mourning, or in fear. Perhaps they have worries tied to money, love, work or school. Perhaps they have longings unfulfilled, or are discontented over circumstances uncontrolled.

Each of us has days when being thankful seems difficult, aimless, or simply a distraction.

So, start with what you have.

A spouse who loves you? Be thankful. Is the feeling mutual? Be thankful for that, too.

Healthy children? Caring parents? Close siblings? Give thanks.

A good job? A paycheck that makes ends meet? A little left over? Give thanks.

A good grade on a test? A friend on the school bus? A teacher who inspires you? A student who does the same? Be thankful.

A welcoming congregation? A helpful neighbor? A kindly mentor? A sparkling muse? A rallying leader? A faithful flock?

A place to go? A place to return to? A familiar bed? A sheltering roof?

A treasured heirloom? An honored tradition? An admired talent? A valued service?

A pet who needs you? A fond memory? A favorite song, poem, movie, or sitcom? An actor who make you you laugh? An artist who gives you pause? A adviser to set you straight?

A book you can't put down? A dance you can't stop doing? A food you're glad you discovered?

Your grandma's sense of humor? Your father's hair color? The same dimple your mother had?

A tree you planted? A sledding hill? A perfect spiral? A splendid view?

A clear path? A welcome solution? An obstacle you can overcome?

A happy secret you share with another? A goal you strive for?

An ambition that drives you? A mission you've accomplished?

What do you have? Start there.

Is it a comforting thought? An anticipated visit? A destination?

A warm place? Someone to talk to?

An idea? A hope?

A dream?

No matter how tough your circumstances, there always is someone with less.

Things could be worse. Be thankful.

And no matter how lavish or fulfilling your life is, there is always more to strive for. Things still might get better. Be thankful.

The Ranger is taking Thursday off. Happy Thanksgiving.

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2020-05-27

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