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23 November 2016

THANKFULNESS/GRATITUDE/THANKSGIVING UPDATE

 This is a re-posting of a compilation of former Thanksgiving messages .  Once again, we are at the crossroads of human suffering with a lot of recent trauma related to President elect Donald Trump, killings of unarmed black youth, pathological hatred,  justice denied, overall escalation of human misery, global wars, persecution, genocide and the unremitting and daunting effects of poverty. The latter is just to name a few.  In the midst of all this...we continue to  publicly celebrate the rite of Thanksgiving.  Acts of kindness still abound, many people are doing well despite the hardships expressed which is usually the case.  "Many things are true at once" , however, we must not forget or fail to continue to advocate and diligently work for changes that enhance humanity and lend to making subsequent Thanksgivings more meaningful.
 
"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received.  Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse." ~ Henry Van Dyke ~

'Together We Give Thanks' ~ Kathrerine Roundtree


 It's that time of the year again and I find myself still trying to reconcile the concepts of being thankful or grateful for what we have and frankly what we hope that we'll keep and certainly relieved that things aren't as bad as they are for much of humanity. "Fearing to lose what you have is not the same as appreciation" ~ Terry Guillemets ~

I've written several posts on this holiday from different perspectives including that of some Native Americans.{ See link 'National Day of Mourning.'} There are the exasperated  sighs  from  folks who find some form of gratitude or thankfulness in the most dire circumstances when they encounter people like me. Their perceptions are that we are the ones hardwired to focus more on the maladies of humankind instead of being thankful for those blessings that others share or for those who are doing relatively well despite their problems.  The consideration of societal and individual limitations coupled with solution building can enhance one's ability to be truly grateful in the face of dreaded happenstances.  As a collective we should give thanks.  I do believe that.
There is, however, a passage from one of Dr. King's sermons that reinforces my perception that we should always shine a light on and work towards the resolution of the suffering and injustice that much of humanity endures on a daily basis. The celebrated day of Thanksgiving is no exception.  The passage reads: "The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me? But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"


With that said; I  enjoy reading articles and collecting quotes on thankfulness and gratitude. Many of them made a distinction between being thankful and having gratitude.


"Being thankful is to acknowledge the contributions of others. While, thankfulness represents an understanding of such contributions, it does not necessarily represent a deep, heartfelt embrace of the contributions."
"Having gratitude is to really feel and embrace the contributions of others and the power of the universe in your life.  Gratitude moves the intellectual acknowledgement of being thankful to a deep feeling representing the intersection of intellect and soul."  ~ Wecare ~


This policy for the uninsured under constant fire!

Gratitude is a real, palpable feeling, like pleasure or pain, and thankfulness is the most natural response to it. Two distinctly different things, joined at the hip." ~ Alan Roettinger ~





"It makes it difficult for many of us to find a reason to be thankful. Of course we have heard time and time again that there is always some one experiencing greater hardship than we are, and although true, it does not always make our personal hardships any less painful." 

Life indeed is a roller coaster ride, enjoy the highs and find reasons to be thankful for during the lows and you will make out just fine."  ~Michael Szczepanik ~









"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."  ~ Maya Angelou ~


11/23/11 statement on Thanksgiving rings true today as it did then and merits reprinting:

These are troubling times and many are left with feelings of hopelessness, despair and frankly an attitude of skepticism on what this day means to millions of folks not only in this country but around the world.  The haves vs the have-nots which is a common refrain on the nightly news and on many sites in cyberspace.

We have each other and there are caring folks who not only stock the food pantries on holidays  but during the year as well.  They raise funds to help those  who've been treated unfairly by happenstance and continue to advocate utilizing various venues for those of us who are unemployed, homeless and marginalized by the larger societies.  Although for many there is very little to be thankful for; they go deep within and find some gratitude for just being...gratitude for those who fight tirelessly for humanity...gratitude that yes things could be worse for many of us but we are still here and eking out a living for a better day. For those who are doing well or okay...let us not look in disdain and contempt toward those who have fallen on harder times.        
The prayer of sharing should be in our hearts and thankfulness that you can make donations and  assist those who have various needs in such a way that they can eventually do for themselves.  In remembrance of this spirit; may your efforts become a part of who you are--not only during the holiday season but throughout the year.  This is my Thanksgiving appeal!

Peace, Love & Bountiful Blessings.  ~Carolyn Moon ~


Links:
Thanksgiving Musings
National Day of Mourning

5 comments:

Moon said...

Beautiful post! Great distinction between thankfulness and gratitude, and highlighted gratitude in action in many different ways. Thanks to YOU for always being on the watch, for your thoughtful, passionate critiques toward the goal of making things better; expecting and holding humanity to the highest standards.

Carolyn Moon said...

@Moon...Thank You! ^◡^

Desertflower said...

Lovely post!

I've felt a lot of gratitude today. and so true, it is a palpable feeling like pleasure or pain. So often i don't take the time to appreciate what I do have, and be grateful to life.

and Thank you Carolyn, now I can see! :D

mary burrell said...

I am thankful but i am sad at the same time. I feel so numb right now, Happy Thanksgiving.

Carolyn Moon said...

@Mary Burrell: I understand how you feel and many of us are numb or angry and always sad.

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I do appreciate your support through readership.

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