“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melodie Beattie I ran across this quote some time ago and it is now one of my favorite… I think it is particularly apt at this holiday of thanksgiving especially in light of the fact that the holiday seems to have moved so far away from what is was originally about… I see very few people taking the time to reflect on all that they have and to be thankful. Most people seem to celebrate the holiday as an excuse to overindulge, watch football, shop or have a family gathering which frequently degenerates into an adult version of show and tell… As most of you know, I enjoy all the aforementioned “vices” as much or more than anyone but not necessarily as the focus of the holiday. We have so very much to be thankful for in this time and country and yet I almost never hear anyone acknowledge all that they have… Our consumer culture is always holding a newer, shinier, faster bauble out in front of us in order to distract us and create a false sense of need… If we fall prey to this scam we run the risk of being never satisfied… never able to see how much we do have, how richly we have been blessed… Sadly, I see this on a very regular basis… People who only count their wealth by the possessions that they have accumulated and the experiences they can buy… counting their friends and social circle by their presumed net worth… While there is nothing inherently wrong with money or “stuff” if it becomes the central tenet of your existence, how you define your self worth and place in this world then it impoverishes your soul… After all, “he who dies with the most “toys” is still dead.” It doesn’t have to be this way… it’s a choice… We can choose gratitude and all the joy it brings or we can choose the malnourished existence of want… my mate and I will make a time, and a space on this holiday to be thankful, to express our gratitude for all we have.