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With super committees and debt ceiling debates, presidential primary politics and economic woes, it’s easy to get caught up (and fired up) with today’s political and economic climate.
It’s easy to get frustrated, wishing your hard-earned portfolio didn’t take a nosedive every time someone in Europe sneezed. Perhaps it’s pushed back your retirement another few years. Maybe you can’t sell your house to get out from under an upside-down mortgage.
You can blame Congress or Wall Street, but regardless of where you place the blame, we’re still in double-digit unemployment.
There are still people losing their jobs every day. Churches and other community organizations are overburdened and under-funded.
This week many of us will be hastily packing, cooking, stressing out and preparing for houseguests, some more welcome than others.
Some of you are gearing up to shop until you drop to cash in on the biggest holiday shopping day of the season. Some will brave the hustle and bustle of the nation’s airports to visit family and friends.
Some won’t be as fortunate.
Some people will spend the holidays alone, cold and hungry. Some people will yearn for their loved ones who will celebrate in a hostile combat zone, instead of around a friendly dining room table at home.
Some people will bury a loved one.
It’s already Thanksgiving and, before we know it, Christmas will be here. It’s amazing how time flies.
What a time to celebrate the many blessings in your life. What a time to take a moment out of your busy, crazy, hectic schedule to give thanks. What a time to cherish what you have.
I’m as guilty as anyone else as allowing myself to get caught up, stressed out and frustrated—sometimes forgetting to count and cherish the many blessings in my life.
Not this year.
Just a few days ago, a colleague told me of a dear friend of hers stricken with cancer—right here in our community—who just wanted to make it through the holidays to spend time with her family, including her two young children.
She didn’t make it.
Life is short and fragile and delicate.
Even if we forget this is true, there’s always something to remind us, bringing us crashing back to reality.
This Thanksgiving, I refuse to get stressed out or overburdened by things that, in reality, don’t really matter. I refuse to take anyone or anything for granted.
This holiday season, I will do things to help those less fortunate than me, and encourage those around me to do the same.
This Christmas, I will offer a helping hand, a can of food or a kind word. This Christmas, I will do more than put my dollar in the Salvation Army kettle while I’m out spending money elsewhere.
But more than anything else, I will absolutely, wholeheartedly count and cherish my many blessings, even if I don’t always see them as clearly as I should.
I challenge all of you to do the same.