I was awake long before sunrise this morning. In the U.S. today is Thanksgiving, which is a time of gratitude, family, and feasting. But my thoughts traveled to a dear friend who tragically lost five members of her family on Thanksgiving. Her cousin’s ex-husband showed up at the family gathering and shot everyone, including two of his own children, before turning the gun on himself. The only light at the end of this story was that organs from the youngest child saved the lives of seven others.
I tell this story, not to dampen spirits, but remind everyone to remain light.
There is plenty of darkness in the world. We don’t have to feed it. Terrorism seems to be all we hear about on the news. Thousands of folks across the world are missing loved ones stolen from them. And if you ask any Native American how they feel about Thanksgiving, you won’t get a happy answer. They view Christopher Columbus like the Jews view Hitler.
There are so many reasons to be depressed around the holidays. But there are far more reasons to be happy and grateful. Life is about showing up anyway. No matter what horror occurs, if you can still get out of bed, get dressed and get on with living, you are way ahead of the darkness.
Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, perhaps you can create light with whatever you do. Maybe forego that war game and play cards, or watch a family film instead of one with a body count. Have a laugh, or a cup of coffee and a piece of pie with someone who has had a harder time of it.
Life is chock full of challenges, disappointments, loss, and injustice. Can we just lighten up briefly? Help others to? Put the corn back in cornucopia? Can a few of us who haven’t suffered some horror recently bring a smile to someone who has? And if you have suffered horribly, can you put one foot in front of the other and do your best to show up anyway?
Just a thought.
Count your blessings, no matter what you’ve experienced. Because de-light can defuse de-dark, even if only for a moment.