Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

I used to attend a church in South Florida which had a very dynamic preacher. Every year, around Thanksgiving, the church held a service where the congregation was asked to share what they were grateful for. Whatever a person's reason for attending that service or no matter what they may have thought of it, it still made you reflect and appreciate what you had.
I have travelled and lived in some remote locales. It gave me a perspective on life that the average person never gets. I have seen people living in a dilapidated shack no bigger than your average closet. I have seen those same people dread the annual rainy season for fear that their hovel might not remain attached to the hillside it was perched on. Their day to day existence was a struggle, yet they somehow remained upbeat in a literal sewer of crime, with hunger their constant companion. The army had to accompany the cops if and when they ever penetrated the warrens and narrow streets. Despite all this, the people of these slums lived for and looked forward to the annual Carnival celebration. A great chunk of  their annual earnings went into the purchase and fabrication of their costumes. Makes you think; doesn't it?
While I am not living in anything remotely resembling a hovel, I still very much appreciate what I have. I am in the autumn of my years (hell it might be the winter), suffering from heart disease. Although there are mornings where I don't act like it, I cherish every day that I am above ground and breathing. I had even hoped to spend my final years in an RV. Health and other circumstances accelerated my schedule and I would prefer to be travelling a bit more; but, all in all, I am happy with my life.
I keep a wary eye on those folks in their hovels and have a deep concern as to where this world is going. However, I am grateful for what I have, especially the ability to travel a bit now. I am grateful for simple things; like not having to count my pennies every day to get by. Every time I see change in the coin holder (or our little Tupperware bowl) and dollars in our ceramic "retirement" jar I smile. When we started this adventure, it wasn't even remotely like that. My wish and suggestion for you this Thanksgiving is that you take stock of your situation. Surely you can find something to be grateful for. If not, just reread the part of this dealing with those folks living in a hovel on a mountainside.  Then start working on your costume...

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