It’s that time of year here in America where we revisit our annual feast of gratitude–Thanksgiving Day. I do love this holiday. It has no religious connotation so there is no being left out due to a religious persuasion. You can still have a great Thanksgiving as a vegan, Arab, Jew, Christian, Buddhist and agnostic. In fact, most of your temples, mosques and churches are closed.
I remind myself what I am grateful for and it is never the material stuff that is my priority. I am glad I have a comfortable roof over my head and a nice bed. I see all the homeless situations and I am reminded how lucky I am. I am grateful I can get out of bed on my own, go to the bathroom, see myself in the mirror and tend to the morning rituals. I am grateful I have family I want to see and share time with. So many people don’t have these basics in life. I am grateful for my car, that I can safely navigate the freeways of Los Angeles with a reliable vehicle. For all the basic things of life we take for granted, I am grateful.
I try to not focus too much on the trauma in the Middle East. This area has been at war with itself for thousands of years and its’ history is rich with various tribes and traders. If we return to the ancient past, this area was settled along the entire coast of the Mediterranean by the Phoenicians. Later their name became Philistines, which morphed into Palestine. The Phoenicians were sea people and known to be very smart traders with trading posts along all their routes. They traded all along the ancient Mediterranean coast and formed some ancient cities such as Tyre and Carthage. Later the Romans ended up controlling much of their territory. Not only was their territory on the Coast, but it was also in Lebanon. Today you have a large population of Palestinians in Lebanon. This area was settled by the Philistines.
Of course, the Philistines are mentioned in the Bible but they are given a negative reputation. They actually passed down their alphabet which was passed on to the Greeks. This a is poor representation of their society but it makes for good reading. It is not surprising that this land is now a convoluted mess. It has never really been settled and its’ boundaries have changed over the years based on who is controlling the region. It can give the impression that the world is going to the dogs and the theme is pumped up by social media, the talking heads etc. who know next to nothing about the history of the Levant and the bigger region. Lots of nashing of teeth and crazy behavior and performance. All the countries in the area fight over religious rights.
I usually return to Wallace Wattles’ Wisdom. Though he wrote his thought in approximately the late 19th century, his work is very relevant to today’s human condition. Humans are still humans and keep the same behavior. We are still evolving and moving into higher awareness and rational thinking. It takes time but it is not impossible.
“This shipwreck view of the world teaches us to think that the world as essentially bad and growing worse; and to believe that existing discords and inharmoniusness must continue and intensify until the end. It robs us of hope for society, government, and humanity, and gives us a decreasing outlook and contracting mind.
This is all wrong. The world is not shipwrecked. It is like a magnificent steamer with the engines in place and the machinery in perfect order. The bunkers are full of coal, and the ship is amply provisioned for the cruise; there is no lack of any good thing……The steamer is out on the high seas tacking hither and thither because no one has yet learned the right course to steer. We are learning to steer and in due time will come grandly into the harbor in a great way.
The world is good and growing better. Existing discords and inharmoniousness are but the pitching of the ship incidental to our own imperfect steering; they will be removed in due time. This view gives us an increasing outlook and an expanding mind; it enables us to think largely of society and of ourselves and to do things in a great way.”
As best you can, focus on the good and the beautiful. The clouds after our recent heavy rain were just beautiful The sky is bright blue and the rain is appreciated when it arrives. I never go to bed hungary nor cold. Nobody is shooting at me and I don’t get lost in the headlines. If you are free of serious diseases, you are blessed and can enjoy this planet while there is time. Our visit here on Earth is short. Watch what you focus on and keep reminding yourself of the good, the beautiful and the kind. In the end that is what we will want to remember. Enjoy your holiday and be patient with humans who test our patience.