My Top Ten Thanksgiving Gratitudes

I am still getting over the fact that another year is coming to a close, but the recent Thanksgiving Day observance confirms that I am not dreaming. I try to plant gratitude seeds every day, but this is the official season for a gratitude post. So, this is my top 10 gratitude list from Thanksgiving Day:

  1. My five senses, so that I could see the beautiful faces of my loves as we gathered together, hear the cacophony of children laughing, football games on the television, silverware colliding with plates as the ravenous group savored the first bites of dinner, and snippets of conversation, touch the warm hands holding mine as I said grace, smell the marriage of the various dishes as they cooked, and speak the pre-feast prayer of gratitude to God for past, present and future blessings.
  2. The crackling sound and dancing flames of the fireplace as they warm our body and soul.
  3. Family and friends, those present, far away, and no longer with us.
  4. The fact that I am surrounded by loved one, and have food to eat, and a warm gathering place in which to enjoy the day.
  5. The present moment and belief that all is as it should be.
  6. The face of my beautiful mother cooking beside me when so many feel the loss of theirs.
  7. Watching the treasured and familiar “It’s A Wonderful Life” which serves as a reminder that we positively affect more lives than we know.
  8. The laughter that ensued as everyone shared their favorite scenes from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. (If you haven’t seen this hysterical movie, it is a Christmas must-see.)
  9. At the end of the day, the feast put away, not a dirty dish in sight, and I did not have to lift one hand to make it happen.
  10. . After all is said and done, the feeling of accomplishment and love for another successful holiday gathering.

There you have it. My Top 10 gratitude list. What about you? What’s on your “gratitude” list?

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I Support The Second “Commandment”

close up of heart shape

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Due to two recent surgeries, I’ve been lying flat on my back for most of the week, and am rather loopy. As a result, it seems that I may have inadvertently published this post before I intended to do so. If so, I apologize for any confusion.😘

Some of you may have groaned when you read the post title. I can only assure you that the overall post speaks to issues that are decidedly universal, and not dependent on any “religious” ideology. Nevertheless, there is no denying that my mother’s religious beliefs informed the manner in which she raised me, and contributed to the formation of the person that I am today.

With that said, I was born and raised in the Catholic faith, spending 12 years in the New Orleans Catholic school system. As I grew older, I expanded my limited knowledge and gained an appreciation for the moral teachings on which Christianity, and many other religions are rooted. I also recognize that “religions ” hold no monopoly over such moral truths, but that they exist in the hearts and minds of most of us.

Although I don’t walk around hiding my faith and beliefs, I have no need to hold them up as proof that I am better than others. Yet, because of the constant mental and emotional disquiet caused by the state of the country, the use of religion to justify the inexcusable, and the silence, and, or worse, support for inarguably un-Christian, and immoral beliefs and acts, I feel compelled to write this short, but in my heart, meaningful post to declare where I stand.

Just the other day, right after overhearing a person embracing the Bible to justify his belief that religious persecution and racism are in line with its teachings, I happened upon the words to the Second Commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Every time I hear these seven words, they send a shiver up my spine. These words wield such power, are clear, concise, and offer no room for endless misinterpretation, exceptions or conditions. They should be etched in the hearts of both Christians, those who claim to be “Christians,” non-Christians, as well as  those who hold no religious beliefs, but value love, compassion and empathy.

Quite unconsciously, as I read the words, I thought of the following as my “mission statement” of sorts:

  • My Bible does not promote or condone hate, racist views, misogyny or any other manner of treating the ‘other’ as inferior.
  • My Bible teaches that we are equal, plain and simple.
  • My Bible espouses the beautiful ideal of loving another as you love yourself, and
  • My Bible does not serve as a conduit to promote views that are intended to denigrate, seperate, or exclude anyone.
  • So, now that I’ve placed my cards on the table, I have a question for you.
  • First, let me be crystal clear. Considerations based on either left or right, or red or blue, have no place in any response, and for those who believe that they do, well, that is a post best left for another time.
  • My question for you is this: what is your “mission statement” based on how your Bible, religious tome, moral compass, beliefs or spiritual practice guides you to treat others, especially those who are deemed “different” from you? I welcome your thoughts.