On Veterans Day people thank me for going to war. On Election Day I thank Republicans and Democrats at voting sites. I credit Donald Trump for getting me to thank those who administer our elections. Trump lies about stolen elections and falsely accuses our neighbors who work into the evening to count votes and protect our democracy. It is scandalous. I can’t silence the sociopath but I thank all who help me vote. They serve with integrity.
People thank us for military service because they feel we weren’t supported when we returned from Vietnam. I was welcomed home by the peace movement who wanted me to live. I know many vets who feel unappreciated. They make me commiserate with poll workers, especially Republicans who voted for a President who discredits them.
I am reminded to thank others who quietly serve our communities, advocating for minorities and the disabled, as scout leaders, sports coaches, with meals on wheels, in our schools, libraries and bringing casseroles to grieving families.
So why do we thank someone like me who carried a weapon and forget those who carry a meal to an elder shut in? I don’t have an answer but know we can do both. We can thank those in uniform and recent college graduates who serve in the Peace Corps teaching kids, providing sanitation programs and expanding environmental initiatives. We all want to be seen and valued for our unique contributions. Thank you all. .
In 1988 I was inspired by Brother David Stendl-Rast, an Austrian-American monk, at a workshop on community building. David wrote Gratefulness the Heart of Prayer, a book that encourages us to live a life of gratitude. You may enjoy his 15 minute TED talk brief
I encourage you to express your gratitude.