Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A November to Remember All for Which I'm Thankful

This exercise began with a frustration. Do you ever realize how difficult it is to NOT end a sentence with a preposition? For example, even just coming up with the title for today's post required me to rack my brain to write something differently than I speak. How often do we hear, "What are you thankful FOR?" Ugh. My English teacher would have circled the preposition in red pencil, with gusto.

This month's blog idea was not mine. With many thanks to a former college classmate and the beauty of social media, the idea seemed appropriate: give thanks each day until Thanksgiving.I"ll start giving thanks for two things, given that I've started on November 2, Election Day.

One, I'm thankful to live in a country with free elections. I am free to think about matters which concern my life, my livelihood, my family, and my community. I am free to exercise my opinion on these matters and to be free from harassment, physical punishment, vandalism, torture, or the death of myself or those I love.

I am not, however, free from the consequences of my opinion or the direct, legal actions associated with it. Others may disagree and as a result,ostracize, spread untrue information about me or stop doing business with me. Others may agree with me and form stronger allegiances as a result. Yet there are some whom may remain complacent or unnaturally fearful. This is the bitter sweetness of a free society; we are free to choose our response.

Two, I am thankful for social media. In a world where circumstances may render us hopeless or helpless, there is a way to rally and rally around others. Electronic media and the networks it provides, help us to manage the minute of our lives that can so easily overwhelm, excite or anger us. By just "talking about it", we often can provide that moment of release or reprieve. We can share each other's joys, sadness, frustration, or commiserate about the "loud talker" in cubicle three or where to find work. We also see each other's roughness: the vices and unkindnesses we so dutifully guard face to face are too often revealed in our words.

I have begun my path to Thanksgiving. I encourage you, amidst your trying circumstances and busy life, to begin yours.

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