By Mary Ann Filler
I am thankful! I am thankful for many things, including the love of an amazing family, a roof over my head, clothing and food. I am thankful that we live in a country that allows its citizens to vote for our leaders and worship freely. I hope that you have a thankful spirit as well. If not, then consider changing your perspective…
As I sat down to put the finishing touches on what I thought would be my next blog, I just couldn’t bring myself to complete it. I was writing about meal planning and preparation. However, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and an election that has divided our great country seemingly right down the middle, it just didn’t seem fitting or proper to blog on such a mundane topic. Instead, I thought that we all might benefit from gaining some perspective.
While reading news items online regarding the hurricane victims, I saw an image of two elderly people rooting through a dumpster for food and was brought to tears. How humbling of an experience that must have been. Perhaps there was a time just a few short weeks ago that they had plenty or even an abundance of food to eat. Then, I got to thinking that for some of our fellow Americans this is indeed a normal occurrence.
Admittedly, there are times when I struggle to prepare meals. Not because my family lacks resources, but because we’re spoiled. Our children have had the luxury of picking and choosing what they “like” to eat rather than eating because they are hungry. Of course, they will tell you that they are “starving” and want to know when dinner will be ready. But, in truth, they do not know what it is to go hungry; nor do I for that matter.
Seeing people in these hurricane ravaged areas who have perhaps never gone hungry a day in their life, has given me something to consider as I catch myself “complaining” about food preparation. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, but my biggest dilemma is what to have for dinner. Now that seems so trivial and ridiculous.
When considering others who are less fortunate, there are other domestic duties that can be thought of with a new perspective. For example, when I go into my laundry room and the laundry is piled to the ceiling, I can look at that pile in a new light. My family is well clothed. If any one of the members of my family was no longer with us, I would not have as much laundry, but would that be better? I have the resources of clean water and a washer and dryer. For many in our country and world, these basic needs are not met.
There is another area that I believe we all might benefit from some perspective. How about the recent election? Did your “man” win? As I’m writing this, our country does not yet know who will be our president the next four years. Regardless of the outcome, I hope that all of you will consider that there are countries in our world that don’t have the right to vote. Recently, I read that the Chinese delight in speculating whether President Barack Obama will fend off Republican challenger Mitt Romney, but they are more captivated by Americans’ ability to vote for their leader. Their own leaders are distant figures whom they have no way of replacing.” (US Election Fascinates Chinese; some envy voters, 11/5/12, Didi Tang, Associated Press). We have the right to vote for the leader of our country, and if we don’t like the outcome we have another opportunity to make a change in four years.
Before I close, I just want to mention that one of the greatest ways to change your perspective is to take action. This time of year presents many opportunities to reach out to others who are less fortunate by giving of your time, talent or resources. Please consider doing what you can to ease the suffering of our fellow human beings. For example, to donate to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, via the Red Cross, click here.
In a little over two weeks’ time we will be gathering around the Thanksgiving table and reflecting on that for which we are thankful. My hope is that you won’t wait until that time to think about all of the blessings in your life. Change your perspective and remember, “someone else is happy with less than what you have.” (author unknown).