The Autumn of our Gratitude
“It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” David Steindl-Rast
From Thanksgiving in early October, through Remembrance Day, American Thanksgiving and now looking forward to Christmas and New Year, we have plenty of time to reflect on how grateful we are for our lives in Niagara.
We have been bombarded by the media’s graphic illustrations and stories of loss, pain, war and death juxtaposed with dramatic examples of how we can enjoy our upcoming celebrations. We can shop, eat, drink and be merry and engage in so much pleasure that we can easily forget about the many sacrifices made by others to ensure our safety and prosperity. We can look at the images in the news, and thank our lucky stars that we are not in a war zone, we are not in a refugee camp, we are surrounded by or in contact with friends and family who are safe and whole or, at worst, in safe and sheltered places where assistance of various sorts is close by.
We can look with amazement at ads that promise us the latest, the best and the most desirable… the biggest and tastiest turkeys and we can contemplate that these things are in our reach. It is the time of year to celebrate what we have, what we can have. We even have time to reflect and be thankful for our full bellies and warm beds. We cannot save the world but we can share some of our bounty and perhaps make someone who has little or nothing feel a bit warmer, safer and better fed. And we can feel grateful for what we already have. As Oprah said, “I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots”.
Joy to all of you and your families and your personal circle of friends. Season’s Greetings
Nancy Ferris-Hostick, CFUW St. Catharines President, 2017-18