Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So Much to be Thankful For

I love the Thanksgiving holiday. I love cooking great food, sharing tall tales with loved ones, and having nothing but big fun. I always use this day to reflect on where I am personally, even professionally. And once again, I have so much to be thankful for.

After being misdiagnosed four times at the beginning of this decade, my mom's health is as robust as ever. All of my siblings are gainfully employed, making this big brother very proud. One of my aunts beat back breast cancer this year, and the experience has given her a new perspective. And, quite humorously, my 77 year old grandmother brags about having more Facebook friends than I do. Can you believe that?

I've connected with some awesome people around the world. From Los Angeles to London, from New York to New Delhi, social media sites like Twitter and Snazl have enriched my view about the world. I am happy I have befriended bloggers who are respected not only for their perspective, but also for the sense of humanity they apply to their work. Bloggers like Jim Turner, Kristi Wooten, Yasmin Beitollahi, and Ramon Nuez Jr., and countless others.

How can you not be thankful for such wonderful, resilient, and awesome family members and friends?!

I am also thankful for the racial and ethnic diversity in our country, and, I am happy we have a president in The White House who believes that our diversity is to be embraced and valued, not feared and detested. Millions say "I want my America back", but millions more say, "I'm happy our America is moving forward". Yes, our, us, we...I love that.

And last, but certainly not least, I am immensely thankful for the Huffington Post's Impact Section. The awesome charities and nonprofits; the men and women performing heroically and selflessly to assist others; and, the people in need who have inspired Huffpost readers to give hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's been a smashing success. Impact editor Victoria Fine has done a marvelous job. I am thankful for her consistent and powerful declaration of love and community.

I urge everyone to use this Thanksgiving to not only reconnect with loved ones, but also to remember those whose lives are not what they should be. Every year I take food to homeless families under bridges and freeway underpasses. I will do the same this year. And I urge readers to get involved in their own way. Find a way...or make a way. As Howard Thurman insist in his classic, bestselling The Centering Moment:
We must remember those who are close to us by ties of blood and accommodation, whose needs have been exposed to us in the days that are behind; those who are sick and who are moving slowly into a terminal dimension of their illness; those who have fallen upon hard and difficult times, from whose hands have been snatched those symbols of security by which the tranquility of their lives have been measured... We remember those men and those women whose private lives are burdened by the responsibilities of others and who find, because of the problems which surround them, that their private lives are inadequate and they are lonely and frightened and dismayed. We remember all those who stand within the shadow of the radiance that belongs to the healthy mind and the vigorous spirit; those who are wrestling with inner tortures that pull the world out of balance, who find themselves retreating more deeply within in the hope that in the iron-bound security of their inmost privacy they may be protected from the things that overwhelm and prove unmanageable.
So remember our neighbors and our citizens whose lives deserve so much more. Remember that we can make a difference, and that our engagement could be the the very thing to keep them animated and motivated. So be hopeful, be safe, be involved, and yes, be thankful. Whether we know it or not, each of us has something to be incredibly thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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