Black and White Walls
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Rollman.
So much of our lives are spent worrying about the future, over things which we have no control, over people who have their own minds and their own actions. You need to stop as often as possible and gather up all the small wonders in your life and let the smells bring back memories and the sunbeams warm your nap. You need to carry your loved ones in your pocket and always take a lot of pictures.

My life and the life of my family has changed over the years - it changed recently to something nearly unheard of. Through it all I was always able to walk up these stairs and see these faces and remember what it's liked to love and be loved, what it's like to know you have a home no matter where you live and no matter what happens there are people who care about you and want you to be happy.

So it is on this Thanksgiving Eve that I think about the things in my life that really matter and for which I truly grateful. It's been a unique year punctuated by world crisis, American hope and individual struggle. As the end of each year approaches, the mantra always becomes, "Next year will be better." But don't forget the good parts of the year, the good parts of your life. Don't forget that time you found $5 in your old jacket when you needed some gas until pay day. Don't forget that convenience store clerk who always rounds up your change. Don't forget the new friends you made while completing a task you didn't want to do in the beginning.

It's easy to forget the Good Samaritans, the generous, the caring, the nice. It's easy to remember the mean, the cold and the nefarious. All the talk from the neighborhood gossip to the political theater rarely bring up the joyful and kind nature that humans posses. So take this Thanksgiving, give thanks to something new. Parents, we know you're thankful for your kids, be thankful for their teachers and daycare workers. People with jobs, be thankful not that you have a job, but that your boss and his boss and his boss, in this climate, are still paying you and hopefully being decent people. Don't be thankful for the food you're about to eat, be thankful to the people who grew that food, shipped it, packaged it and run the stores from which you bought it.

Mankind needs to stop every once in a while and look at the pictures in its hallway and remember how it got where it is now. We're a violent, warring people by instinct. But if we stop and show others that we're thankful to be included in this world, maybe they'll stop and be thankful for us too.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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