Monday, November 20, 2017

A Season Of Hope

Thanksgiving Table

Traditionally this is the week when we pause to give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives and for the chance to take inventory of all the reasons why we should be grateful. This year, however, instead of asking myself "what are you grateful for," I'm asking instead, "what are you hopeful for?"

This past year, like no other in recent memory that I can think of, there have been days when the idea of hope seemed to be in short supply: senseless gun violence; natural disasters; divisiveness; hate crimes; racism; sexism; homophobia; and a seemingly huge lack of compassion and decency in the world. Day after day we have been bombarded with sights and sounds that break our hearts. It's enough to make a person give up hope all together .....except ...

....except .... for the highly paid professional football player who goes to an animal shelter, not to adopt the best dog they have, but to adopt the one that no one else wanted so it could have a loving forever home for however long "forever" lasted; or, the ladies groups who get together and knit hats, scarves and mittens, and attach them to park benches, lamp posts and trees for the homeless or anyone who is cold and in need; or, the little boy who donates his allowance and his chore money to pay the overdue lunch bills of some of his classmates so that they will not go hungry; or, all the folks who risked life and limb to rescue total strangers - and animals - from the horrendous floods and storms this fall; or, for the police officer who spent his own money to buy a homeless man a pair of shoes; or , or, or .......

So, so many reasons to still have hope in the common goodness of humankind. So many signs that kindness and compassion are still alive. So much proof that love always wins. This year when we sit around the table and share what we are thankful for, I wish for all of us to add: "And I am thankful for the kindness of strangers, the generosity and compassion that exists in the world, and filled with hope for the future, because love always wins."

May your holiday be filled with peace, blessings and hope. And so it is.

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