Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Do I GET Thankful?

The spirit of the holiday season moves many to give thanks for what they have and I am no different. I give thanks for the greatness in my life and the gifts that I've been blessed with. But do I actually GET thanks? I don't mean receiving thanks or feeling entitled to accolades either because that's wrong. We should do good things for no other reason than because it's the right thing to do. But it's more than that.What I mean is...

Do I really understand what it is to be thankful?
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• The other night I listened to a man bear his soul about his addiction and the losses he experienced because of his poor choices. I couldn't completely relate to him, but I definitely understood how that could've been me with one or two different choices. When I was younger, my heart and mind were in a frightening place filled with depression and anger. As a matter of fact, I dipped my toe in that pool of darkness and I could've easily walked a similar path to that brave man standing before me sharing his struggles with strangers. I understand how blessed I am to have made the right choices.

• I saw a man walking down the street, a three foot steel pole tapping intermittently at the space around him, warning him of any impending danger ahead. A telephone pole. A newspaper kiosk. A fire hydrant. A curb that lead to the street filled with drivers distracted by the radio or texting to say they'll be 5 minutes late instead of paying attention to the road. I understand that my sight is a gift. Every time I head into the infusion center at clinic and connect to that yellow bag of vitamins, I'm thankful that I'll be able to see my goddaughter's smiling face, my wife's beautiful eyes, my mother's charming smile or both of my best friend's heads thrown back in a fit of laughter over something their sons did that day. There's so much more I don't have the time or the space on this blog to mention. I get to SEE that for at least another week. 

• People call Facebook, Twitter and other social media time wasters that have no productive or positive aspects in our daily lives. I beg to differ. I have over a thousand friends on Facebook, many that I interact with every day and even more that read every ridiculous word I have to say. Do I have examples of my stupidity? Sure...here's one:

"On my bag of chips it says "enlarged to show texture." Today, I'm thankful that there are so many things that AREN'T enlarged to show texture. 

P.S. - I said "That's what she said." out loud to myself and laughed a lot. I need to get out more."


Or how about this status?...

"
Goodbye Hostess. 

I'll miss the spongy substances that you called baked goods and remind me of my childhood. The way that Wonder Bread would return to it's original form even after I squished it in my hand. The way you inadvertently planted the seed for the erotic cake industry by using a drawing of a Twinkie mascot wearing a cowboy hat, bandana, boots and nothing else while twirling a lasso.

Th
ere's a Hostess store a block away from my house. Today I'll buy and eat one last pack of TRUE Hostess Twinkies, sacrificing every vital organ in my body to process a "product" that has more preservatives and chemicals in it than Keith Richards of the Rollings Stones.

I presume that's how Keith is still alive...a diet of Twinkies that absorbs all the drugs."


You could read those statuses and think how lewd I am or how inappropriate those thoughts might be, but there's a method to my madness. First of all, I write those frivolous and inane comments because it makes me laugh and keeps me sane. But...more importantly, I'm exposed to so much sadness and anger on Facebook. Children who are sick, people who've lost their job or hate where they work, but have no choice but to keep punching in and out for their families and themselves. People who are unhappy in their lives. I mean, my god, someone dies on my Facebook page at least once a week from a myriad of struggles. And no, that's not an exaggeration. People are scared out there and they need a little levity to ease their hearts. I understand my role. If people read the stupid things that spew out of my mind or that happen to me on a almost daily basis and it makes them chuckle, then I'm doing something right. I understand how important laughter is and I give it freely to anyone who needs it. I'm not always funny, but I try to be true to myself.

• There are people in the world who hold on to anger far longer than they need to. It consumes their thoughts and impacts their present and future relationships...so much so that it stops them from achieving a truly peaceful existence. I understand that I am one of those people, but I've gotten so much better over the last few years because I've opened myself up to others. I'm no saint, that's for damn sure, but because of the people I've met from across the world and in my own community, I'm  more peaceful than I ever have been. I understand that the world is so much bigger than me and that no one can hurt me forever if I don't let them. There's no winning and losing too important. There's no blame game too intense. There's only love and peace if I let it in and IF I TRULY GET WHAT IT IS TO BE THANKFUL.

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On Thanksgiving and everyday, I challenge you to do more than just give thanks. To do more than just write it on your Facebook page, on your blog or say it aloud in front of others. I challenge you...like I challenge myself...to wake up and look around the place you call home. To examine the relationships you cherish and the experiences you've had and UNDERSTAND how quickly it could be gone. How quickly YOU or SOMEONE YOU LOVE could be gone from this earth. 

I challenge us all to GET THANKFUL so we can all GIVE THANKS far grander than we ever  have. 

Peaceful Things and Lots of Thankful Love To Everyone Always,

Josh

3 comments:

  1. I am thankful for you, Joshy! Love you & happy Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  2. :) I am going to take you up on your challenge and blog about it this weekend. Or maybe tonight since I obviously am not getting any research done ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. My sweet son:
    Your random ridiculousness is well placed in this crazy world. If one stops to think why any given FB post is so giggle-out-loud funny, it is the ring of truth they come from. Your constant humor is the perfect set-up for those occasional, but perfectly timed inspirations that we all need to hear. You ground and humble your audience, including your mother.

    It also makes me know that to have a peaceful and joy-filled home every single day, for you and Angela, was well worth every effort. The sad or painful times did not own us or define us. You and Carly have the wisdom and skills to handle whatever life becomes. I am soooo grateful for my joyful son and his adorable wife, my grand-puppies, and my hubby- I am blessed. And ready to make your favorite Thanksgiving stuffing! xo

    ReplyDelete

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