This week of Thanksgiving is always an opportunity for me to reflect on my world, my life and those who are in it. I always love to write about gratitude as it is my daily practice. During the Sandy ‘superstorm’ it was the one thing that served me best. I had a roof over my head, I was cold but intact, I could cook the food that remained in my fridge before it went bad. As I threw away the freezer’s contents I knew I could replace them easily --- there wasn’t much and food was as close as my neighborhood supermarket.
I used my practice to keep things in perspective. After power was restored I asked my family and siblings if they would be willing to use funds normally spent on gifts to help those most affected by this storm – their agreement was immediate. I turned my energy to other thoughts – the upcoming holiday.
My menu ready, the shopping list prepared, the guests invited and the time set to accommodate their schedules. Now what? My thoughts returned to those affected by this storm, left homeless or perhaps still without power. How might they celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday? I expanded my view past the boundaries of our town, county and state – after all it’s a big world out there. Here’s what I learned…
One in seven world citizens is chronically hungry. That’s more than a billion people. In the United States, a record number of people (46 million) are using food stamps in order to live while we boast a record number of millionaires. And, as is widely reported, more than a third of our population is obese.
It doesn’t have to be that way! There’s enough in this world for all of us. And there are lots of capable and resourceful people to help figure it out.
Many years ago I was taken by a sign posted in front of a church in Dallas. It read “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” I took those words to heart. How might you?
With so many opportunities at so many levels: a local food kitchen, a food pantry, and organizations like Feeding America, The Hunger Project or Heifer International, the choice is yours. I’ll leave you with these words from Heather Small’s “Proud” –“What have you done today to make you feel proud?”.
Could this be the conversation you have this year at your Thanksgiving table?