In life, there are many possible changes that can affect what we do, where we live, who we associate with, and how we choose to view others. That’s right, I said “choose” to view others. That includes how we treat them. Whether it is with scorn… or compassion. With a snicker… or in sympathy. But empathy may be more what we should consider.

Remember the phrase; “But for the grace of God, there go I.”

In this day and age there are those who used to be college professors, top executives, hard-working boiler makers, and strong, self-assured home makers that are forced into conditions they have never encountered. Jobs they never thought possible – or even extended unemployment.

There are those that, but for the grace of God, seem to have fallen. They seem to have lost their dignity – being forced to local food banks, and the Salvation Army in order to have some hope of a ‘normal’ holiday meal. Relying on the goodness of others to make, or break, their holiday spirit.

Maybe you have passed by one of these persons of unfortunate circumstance. Maybe you have seen them on the sidewalk wrestling with several small children while you hurry down the block. Or maybe… you consider yourself one of these people who is just waiting for things to get back to normal.

Normal. Really?

I encourage you not to settle for normal. Not to sit and wait for the tide to turn. For the fact of the matter is, there may no longer be a ‘thing’ called normal. And maybe, just maybe, this new ‘adventure’ you are on is the very thing that you should be celebrating.

If ‘Thanksgiving’ is a state of mind, then let it begin now.

I one read a book that exclaimed; “If all your troubles can be solved with nothing more than money, then you have no troubles at all.”

If that’s the case, it might be time for a “family hug.” Grab your spouse, your kids and the family dog or cat. If it’s just you, then grab yourself. Squeeze them (yourself) as tight as possible and tell them (yourself) how thankful you are that they are in your life… Then add one thing more; tell them (yourself) that everything is going to be alright. Tell them that thing won’t be getting back to normal because they will be ‘better’ than whatever normal once was.

In fact, practice this on yourself first. A dry run for those you love. Start by loving yourself.

Many people plan the holiday season as if it is the only time of year to perceive generosity from their fellow man. If that’s all you have, hold onto it. But if you want something more – take a chance that the best is yet to come.

Be thankful, strong, and become your family’s leader. Waiting to have things happen can’t be as fun as making something happen. And the rewards for doing things the right way, your way, mean the difference between ‘watching’ the season go as one of the many in need; and, being the one who is able to lend a hand to make every day a day of thanksgiving.

That is my Thanksgiving message. No matter what anyone has done to you. No matter life’s twists and turns. You are the sum of all your experiences. Why not let those experiences bring a smile to those you love… and then, the whole world.
Because it needs more love.

Happy thanksgiving.