It has been hard at times to feel gratitude in the face of the overwhelming fear-mongering, bigotry, racism, and hatefulness that has become widespread throughout this election season and especially since November 9. But, I am thankful. Thankful for this moment, this breath, this family of which I am a part. I am thankful for the people that came together to join hands around Lake Merritt. And I am thankful to all the peaceful protesters making their voices heard and helping people to stand together.
I am thankful for the Freedom of Speech, and that we can raise our glasses to that just as lady liberty raises her torch to the downtrodden, the “huddled masses yearning to be free.” We are a nation of mostly immigrants founded on genocide. That’s the cold truth of Thanksgiving that I also always think about, those that gave freely only to be betrayed later. While that’s the history, and while I apologize for it, none of us can change that. What we can change is the present. Practice gratitude today. Right now.
Give thanks to gravity for holding you and everything you know in the earth’s embrace.
Give thanks to the soil and rain that nourished your food.
Give thanks to the sun that warmed it.
Give thanks to the hands that picked it.
Give thanks to the truck drivers that transported it.
Give thanks to the grocers for helping you buy it.
Give thanks to whatever provided the means for your purchase.
Give thanks to those who prepared it.
Give thanks to yourself.
Give thanks to those around you.
Give thanks to those who have gone before.
Give thanks to those who have yet to come.
Give thanks every day for the breath that sustains you.
If we all could practice gratitude about one aspect of every day, it could transform our lives and our nation. This practice will nurture the necessary courage for the conversations we need in order to walk away from our divisive, checkered histories and embrace the dream of a united future.